Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts

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Friday, December 09, 2016

Jewish Holiday Machine Embroidery Designs

When I see new machine embroidery holiday designs that come out, I have noted for years that there is a bit of a lack, actually for some holidays a BIG lack, for those other than of the Christian faith, or those of no faith that celebrate the traditional US holidays anyhow. Embroidery Library, that anyone reading this blog know that I love, has some great new, quick sew out Christmas Doodle designs. If we can get past the name Christmas for a moment, there are several designs that are perfect for Hanukkah designs as well as some designs that have nothing to do with Christmas but just winter in itself such as snowflakes, ice skates and hot chocolate.

There are more designs than those pictured that you can get. Right this weekend, they are on sale for $1.25 for each design and they come in four different sizes. You can also see the large selection of Chanukkah embroidery designs here.  We hope that bringing these designs to your attention will help you in your celebration this year and many more to come.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Keeping Busy!

I have been doing so many things, that I tend to neglect this blog, but following the library sale and the acquisition of lots of new crafting books and magazines, I had to go through them all and then after several forays into Erie which had me stopping at the Salvation Army and Goodwill I ended up with even more items to look through and process. In my office, I am surrounded by sewing patterns, craft kits, Christmas fabric project panels and other assorted items. I go as fast as I can, but I also had a lousy month physically and got behind. Some of my great deals was a very large 4-5 yard chunk of a turquoise fabric as well as more batik or hand dyed fabric chunks. I found Fabric in all sorts of colors and designs that I would normally never touch.

I have found that buying leftover quilting fabric at places like thrift stores, I get a lot of fabric that I would have never bought at full price. The photos above, are just a small amount of fabric I have found at thrift stores! That was just one trip! Some of those fabrics have already made their way into my current quilt project! One fabric in particular is that mustardy brownish color that reminds me of what breast feed babies produce. Yet when cut up into smaller pieces I found it went very well with another print. When I have time I will be taking some photos of these quilt blocks as they are part of the article or book that I am slowly trying to write on color and quilting. This will be from a different perspective with not a color wheel included!



Many of the pieces in this quilt that I am working on come from my pre-cut pieces stash, or the pre-cuts that I make as I go along. One of the things that has really been helping me square up these 8 1/2" unfinished blocks was a Get Squared 8 1/2" ruler than you can see in the photos of the squares. As I make many of my blocks, for many different projects, I thought the 8 1/2" size would be perfect to have and it is immensely helpful. Because of the many lines on it, it is much easier to get the block as centered as possibly. It will also come in handy when I start in on my project of machine embroidering the center square of a block and then trimming it and adding pieces around it, the embroidery won't be off kilter. The Get Squared ruler comes in different sizes so you can get whichever sizes you need most. I also make heavy use of my 8 1/2" square rotary ruler that I bought at Joanne Fabrics. I have gobs of rulers that I have bought or been given over time, but some I just consistently go back to.
I am enjoying working on this quilt and it is paring down some pre-cut scraps that have been hanging around for a very long time. Time for some new scraps to take their place.
Just a reminder that if you still need patterns and supplies for your holiday sewing to check out my store: Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Christmas Gift Sewing #1 - Sweatshirts

With Christmas and other Holidays coming quick it is always nice to find some ideas and instructions for projects to make and give. Embroidery Library has produced a great digital Lookbook on embroidering on sweatshirts and ways to decorate them. You can see it here.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

I Love Library Book Sales!

I live in a lovely town 'where everyone knows your name', or at least they recognize your face. As someone that is on a low income, my town has two places that I especially love to go to. One of them being our thrift store where I have found many terrific deals. I've picked up spare pieces of silverware that even if they don't 'go' with my silverware, they coordinate. My set of silverware is an Oneida brand, and buying replacement pieces is expensive, so finding more Oneida spoons, forks and knives in great patterns for 10 cents a piece is a huge deal. And yes, I meant 10 cents a piece! Anyone that has tried buying replacements from Oneida knows that they are costly. I buy clothing there both for me and my husband. After seeing a neat apron project using men’s shirts at Embroidery Library, I found some shirts in plaids that I liked, I bought them and hope to have those posted here soon. I find books and magazines at reasonable prices as well. My biggest thing at the thrift store is all the crafting supplies I have found. At this point I can do just about any needlework project from the supplies found at that store and I have mentioned some of those deals before.

The second place that I love to go is my library. I have spent a great deal of my life in libraries as either a patron or as an aide. From 8th grade through college and then while in nursing school, I worked part time in all my school libraries. With the arthritis, I have in my hands, reading books is getting more and more uncomfortable for me, so unless it is truly a favorite author, I use my Kindle to read regular books on. However, when our twice a year Friends of the Library (FOL) Book Sale takes place, unless I am dying from pain, I’m there. If I can bring Steve to help so much the better. Some years I don’t find much of great interest and then other times I feel like I have struck a gold mine. This was one of those years. I found stacks of knitting, embroidery, quilting books and magazines in like new condition. Even though it wasn’t bag day ($1 a bagful of books) I bought all that I could find.

Because of the subject matter and the condition of the books I figured such a donation was due to one of two things. The crafter had either had to enter a nursing home or had died. While looking through the books I found the receipt for when she bought them and then looked her name up. She had died the year before. I hope that she would be happy to know that her donation made many excellent books available to someone like me that doesn’t have the funds to pay full price for those books and magazines. I have had the opportunity to buy a woman's crafting refernce libraries prior to this and I remember these women that I didn't even know fondly, knowing we would have found plenty to talk about.

I’ve spent a happy week going through the books/magazines. Some of the knitting magazines made me wish I could knit but I must be stern with myself and not take up any more hobbies, although I thoroughly enjoyed reading them, especially the Downton Abby Knitting magazines as well as a Harry Potter knitting magazine. Those I put up for sale at competitive prices on Amazon, as selling on line is part of how we literally pay the bills. I have been trying to learn more about embroidery and so to find some excellent books. One book I had bought to resell years ago and averaged a sale price of $70 per books (the price has come way down now). That, by the way, is MORE than I spent on all the books I got last week. Not only did I get that book, I got 3 others in the same series. I found books on stump work. I found old sewing and quilting books that included a lot of history of quilting and sewing over the centuries. Many of the quilting magazines had quilt patterns that would be suitable for Project Linus quilts or a quilt that would use a particular fabric stash that I have.

You never know when something is going to drop into your lap and solve a problem for you. I have seen a photo of a scrap quilt that had been on the front cover of BHG Patchwork & Quilting. I’ve never run across the actual issue or pattern, but I did find a good enough photo of it that I scanned and made it large enough to see which types of blocks I needed. Without knowing for sure what size the original blocks were, from what I could tell an 8” finished block would do the trick. That is until I got to one block that had a 9-patch section in the middle of where a 4” finished piece would go. And then I had to get out the calculator and try to figure out what size I needed to cut these squares of strips for quick piecing. Then I was looking at one of ‘new’ magazines and what did I find but a 9-patch that went where a 4” finished piece would go. My math hadn’t been far off, but it was enough that it would have never looked right. So, with that puzzle answered for me, I have continued piecing the quilt.

I’m not sure how some people function without books in their lives to help provide inspiration and knowledge. I know I couldn’t get along without them! I’m so happy that I could go to this sale, help support my library, help support myself, gain a lot of inspiration and knowledge about the things I’m very interested in.

Friday, October 07, 2016

What has been your Needlework Story?

Seeing some posts in the Janome Digest that I belong to, posts about their sewing journey to this point made me curious about when others started needlework, what kind did they do, how did they learn, what is their favorite thing to do. So this is my story, what is yours?

My mom had an old Singer and made most of my sister, mine and my mother’s clothes when I was young. She also embroidered at times and I took that up. I hand embroidered two sets of pillowcases for my ‘hope chest’. My friend at school taught me to knit and after making two potholders, that was enough for me. I also learned to crochet granny squares and finished making enough of them to make an afghan around the time my oldest was born and my ex’s grandmother sewed them all together for me. As they had been made over many years, the gauge had changed and so were all different sizes. I also crocheted a doily using that little green covered book I think it is called Teach yourself to knit and crochet. At most points in my life my local library had very few books on needlecrafts of any type and my mom only knew the basics of sewing and I didn’t have grandmother’s or aunts to teach me. One grandmother’s hobby seemed to be having babies along with making bread. She had I think 14 kids and would make 30 loaves of bread at a crack. I do think I inherited her bread making gene!

I was learning to sew garments at home before I started home ec. I knew more about cooking during that class than the teacher taught as I grew up helping to can and cook. I hated sewing in home ec. And it made me hate installing zippers and hand hemming the rest of my life. I don’t think that was how it was supposed to work. But since eighth grade (age 12-13) I have been making many of my own clothes over the years, but not so much anymore as the clothes I made won’t wear out and the thrift store has had things in my size at a good price.

I was highly influenced by Little House on the Prairie books which I think I lost track of how many times I read all of them after 20 times each for the series. And since you can’t be a clone of Laura and Mary without taking up a needle of some sort, I decided to make a quilt! I’m appalled at what I did to make that quilt. I started it in 1968 prior to the Bicentennial and all the quilting books and fabric that came out at that point). I knew nothing of templates and so cut a square out, laid it on another piece of fabric and cut another square out and so on! Incidentally I was using fabric from my mother’s ‘rag’ bag of leftover sewing bits. So this quilt had squares of upholstery fabric, and lightweight crepe. Lots of cotton/poly blends as 100% cotton was hard to come by. I finished the top right before I left for college. My mom bought me backing fabric and batting and I tied the quilt using red string that I could barely get through the quilt sandwich. However, I was as proud as punch when it was finished. A bright happy quilt that I took with me to college. It lasted about 10 years before it fell completely apart. I ran into some old squares one day and I finally knew many of the things I had done wrong. Those ‘squares’ differed in size by up to an inch! I sewed them together with whatever stitch length my mom had last set the machine, so many of the squares where basted together! I still have a few cherished pieces from that quilt that I insert when possible into very special quilts.

When Log Cabin Quilt in a Day came out, I started making log cabin quilts and then branched out from there. After 50 quilts, I stopped counting! Most were given as gifts or to Project Linus. I also still do garment sewing, Made window covers for several of the rooms in the house, through pillows as well. I do some hand embroidery and want to get more into that as my hands can handle holding the hoop. My favorite thing is reading about sewing, quilting, embroidery, etc. We are so blessed at this point in time to have so much reference material for any type of sewing we want to do. I still remember not being able to find anything to teach me how to quilt. I got to take a quilting cruise with Doreen Speckman using a sign on bonus that I got years ago in 1990 and that was the only in person teaching I’ve ever really had.

So what is your story? 


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Janome National Pediatric Cancer Foundation NPCF50 Computerized Sewing Machine

I just got an email about this new Janome Sewing Machine and thought I would bring it to my readers attention. I will admit to loving all the bells and whistles on a sewing machine and I have a couple of very good ones although I would love the Janome Skyline S9! To get it means saving lots of pennies and selling a lot of things out of my sewing room. If you don't want to save your pennies for one of the top of the line machines, you might want to consider this machine; Janome National Pediatric Cancer Foundation NPCF50 Computerized Sewing Machine. The link will take you to Janome's website and the page featuring the NPCF50.

When I saw the features on this machine, I was very surprised. As you can see it has 50 different stitches. All the basic 'utility' stitches that you really need including ones for both woven and knit fabrics. Three buttonholes - which is more than enough for me since I never make them anymore as buttons and buttonholes are hard for me to negotiate with arthritic hands. The machine includes some Quilting and Applique stitches, Heirloom and French machine sewing stitches as well as Satin stitches and Decorative stitches. It even has a satin stitch heart stitch which is important to me and many of the Janome machines were being produced without it. All in all a very nice selection of stitches for any kind of sewing that you might want to do. Since they don't have the manual for this machine up yet at the Janome website, I have copied the product description from the Amazon listing (which means it might not be completely correct).

Product Description:

The Janome NPCF-50 sewing machine has the features you need to complete any project, home decor, garment sewing, scrapbooking, or quilting. The Janome NPCF-50 features fifty stitches, including three buttonholes, which give essential variety for your diverse sewing needs. It also includes all of the features you always expect from a high end Janome Decor machine, allowing you to sew with computerized precision and confidence. Features • 50 built in stitches • Auto-Lock • Memorized Up/Down needle position • Auto-Declutch bobbin winder • Stitch number, width, and length buttons • Direct stitch selection buttons • Fully Automatic sensor buttonhole • Convertible free arm for circular sewing • SFS (superior feed system) • Built-in needle threader • Reverse Stitch button • Speed control slider Included Accessories • 1/4 Inch Presser Foot • Walking Foot • Satin Stitch Foot F • Spool Stand • Zipper Foot E • Automatic Buttonhole Foot R • Felt • Screwdriver • Set of Needles • Spool Holder (large) • Spool Holder (small) • Spool Pin • Hard Shell Carrying Case • Instruction Manual • Warranty Card See Optional Accessories Janome Company Warranty • 25 Years on Mechanical Parts • 2 Years on Electrical Parts • 1 Year Labor Offer Available On Orders Shipped To United States Destinations Only

If I was still sewing on my first machine, a Kenmore with only straight and zig zag stitches, I would be drooling over this machine as it would be a such a huge step up for me. Find your local dealer and take this machine for a test drive, which is the best way to determine if you and a machine are a good 'fit'. If you have no dealer, you can buy one at Amazon. Even those with a top of the line machine might like this one to take to classes and sewing retreats.

About the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation

The NPCF50 (National Pediatric Cancer Foundation) 50-stitch sewing machine commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Foundation, a not-for-profit dedicated to raising funds for pediatric cancer research. Janome will donate a portion of every sale to the NPCF.

With its national headquarters in Tampa, the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding research to eliminate childhood cancer through the Sunshine Project, the Foundation’s collaborative research initiative. By partnering with doctors and researchers from the country’s top institutions, the Sunshine Project is fast-tracking the development of new drugs and therapies that will ultimately lead to the cure of childhood cancers. For more information, go to

Friday, September 02, 2016

September is National Sewing Month! Get your Patterns 25% off!

Get some patterns and pull out your sewing machine if you haven't done any sewing for a while! Even if you have done some sewing, get some patterns that are on sale. It is National Sewing Month and we have put all our sewing patterns on sale 25% this month. We have never reduced our pattern prices this much. We have a huge collection of sewing patterns in all sizes and styles at Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts at our eCrater store. I'm not positive that I got Amazon discount correct yet, but you can see our or patterns here.

Shhhhh! a little secret, part of why the patterns have been reduced so much is I want this machine and the only way to get it is to sell LOTS and LOTS! Help me out here! This machine has several features that will make life easier for me and my arthritis while sewing even more so than my 7700 does.

 After seeing the Janome Skyline S9, I am in love with the machine and want to get one and sell my other machines as needed. It is a combination sewing/embroidery machine. It was nice to see that although The Skyline S9 doesn't have the biggest hoop possible, it's biggest hoop is 6.7" x 7.9" (170mm x 200mm) compared to my current 5.5” x 7.9” (200mm x 140mm). That bumps up the sizes I can download from Embroidery Library quite a bit. One of their new designs that comes in 5 sizes, the size that would fit the Skyline hoop is an inch bigger in both directions than what I can usually sew out which is great for making a quilt blocks etc. Anyhow I'm in love with this machine. It has some tremendous features that even their top of the line Janome 15000 doesn't have! If you haven't checked it out yet, here is a link to the page it is featured on in the Janome website: Skyline S9  I have been singing it's praises enough, I think I deserve a free one as a commission at this point!

Also don't foget to download your Embroidery Library September designs. There are three of them this month for a total of 15.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Inside Stori

I just discovered an very nice blog that might interest some of my readers. It is called The Inside Stori by Mari Stori. She specializes in handwork and embellishment, fabric art, quilting, etc. She has several books published that you can buy at Amazon. She is an active member of my Janome 7700 group. I've posted some links for her books below and she has several others as well. I always like meeting up with other quilters and needle workers, even if only on line!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Looking for inspiration for Denim? Check this out!

If you need some inspiration for embellishing your denim clothing or making something from cast off denim clothes, you need to check out Embroidery Library's newest Look Book called All About Denim. You will see some bright ideas and also links on how to make the projects and tips and tricks for using denim in your projects. Now I have some new ideas for using Steve's old jeans that he has grown out of. Don't forget that even if you don't have an embroidery machine, you can hand embroider designs or use applique to mimic the projects.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Embroidery Library August Free Machine Embroidery Designs

The above design, 'But First, Coffee' that is one of Embroidery Library's Free designs for the month of August 2016, I'm sure many of you can relate to. I'm now coffee drinker, seriously, but I've been around enough of them to know this is truth for them! This design comes in five different sizes so if you have a machine that can do any size you want; wouldn't this look great on a T-shirt or tote bag. Even with the smaller sizes hoops you can make some great dish towels, pot holders, quilt squares or anything that you can think of.


This Cameo Limes motif if part of the continuing series of fruit in cameo frames that they have been doing all year. If you have been following along getting the free designs, then you should have 8 designs in the series at this point.

With my Janome 300e the largest motif I can sew out at one time is 5.5" x 7.9", or I can combine 2 designs that size in the giga-hoop. It has been replaced by the Janome 500e  with a maximum embroidery area of 7.9”x11” or the Janome 400e with a maximum embroidery area of  7.9” x 7.9”.  I do wish more of these larger size designs came split for those of us that do have embroidery limits. One embroidery design company that is good about that when selling sets is Hatched in Africa such as this design called Summerfields.

I did want to bring up one point here and that is I get NO compensation from Embroidery Library at all for featuring and talking about their products which I do so often here! I talk about their products because they are great, the company is extremely generous with freebies and I have never had a single problem with any of their designs not sewing out correctly. I have had problems with designs from other designers that didn't come out correctly and when I wrote them and told them of a problem with a design I never got so much as a thank you for letting them know! When I write to Embroidery Library for any reason I get my email acknowledged within the first 24 hours. I know that designing or making crafts to sell on line can be a daunting task so when I see an error, I write the person. Did that yesterday to a seller in Dublin and got a reply back. She was happy to have a chance to fix a spelling error that changed the whole description of an item. When you find a good vendor of a product on line, be sure to let others know so they can also use the vendor.


For the month of August 2016, ALL our inventory has been reduced by 10%! This includes our Amazon and eCRATER stores. On Amazon I have finally been able to figure out how to give a shipping discount for those buying more than one pattern at a time. Almost everything listed on Amazon from Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts is in my eCRATER store and if it isn't, it can be. For the most part eCRATER charges no fees, so it doesn't cost me nearly as much to sell on eCRATER. So if you see something you want in the Amazon store and can't find it in the eCRATER store ask me and I will list it at eCRATER for you.

See our eCRATER store here:
See our Christmas Store here:
And our Amazon store here:

Here are some machine embroidery supplies that you can get through Amazon. They have just about everything you need without having to go out in the car. I love being able to shop any time I want to. I got a discounted Prime membership this past year and I did appreciate not needing to worry about shipping costs for most items that I bought. Plus I got free books to read each month on my Kindle! I have found I love the Kindle for reading these days as I doesn't hurt my hands to hold it like other books.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Get Ready! September is National Sewing Month!

September is National Sewing Month! What will you be making? Will you finish a UFO or just keep on with your regular sewing that you are doing? To help promote National Sewing Month, we are putting ALL our inventory on sale at  10% off for the entire month of AUGUST 2016 in both our Amazon ( and eCRATER stores ( For multi-item purchases (all at one time) there is a discount on shipping costs so don’t be afraid to add a few things to your cart. J


We realized that in our eCRATER store our Christmas items were scattered throughout the store, so we have set them all up within a ‘Christmas Store’ in our eCRATER store to make things easier to find.  Now you can find our Christmas patterns including Santa suits, craft kits and fabric there.  Please visit our Christmas Store ( We still have a lot to list in the Christmas store, especially Christmas fabric panels and Christmas fat quarters, so keep checking back as to what you might find!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Even More Christmas in July with Embroidery Library!

I hope all of you have signed up for Embroidery Library's newsletter and Christmas club already. Christmas goodies have started already and you don't need to be a member to get them. They have four freebies in three different sizes, so a total of 12 designs for this weekend. Besides the Santa above, there is also a Rudolf, Penguin and Owl designs. They are free through July 31which means only a few days to get them for free! So don't wait. Personally I hate owl designs and have ever since they were a popular decorating element back in my childhood, right along with mushrooms all over someone's kitchens. Now though, owl designs are huge and if you like them, here is a chance to get one in three sizes.

Also there is a coupon code to take $5 off of a $10 order which you can use up to three times on merchandise either regularly prices or on sale and there are some great Christmas designs on sale right now. The coupon code is also good up through midnight July 31 so don't delay.

There is also a new Christmas Gift Guide Lookbook that you can use to get your creative juices bubbling and giving you a whole bunch of ideas. Embroidery Library now has quite a few Lookbooks with all sorts of great ideas. If you see a design that you like, you can click on the photo and be taken to all the relevant designs and if needed tutorials for making the project or making similar projects on Embroidery Library which saves you time in searching for them. Of course you can always substitute a different design depending on who you would making the gift for.

I do want to mention one thing that I have found with the Lookbooks. At times I can not open them up in Internet Explorer, so if yours doesn't work correctly (you can't turn the pages), try a different web browser.

Need to put an Embroidery machine on YOUR Christmas Wish List? You can get several kinds through Amazon at the links below.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

More Christmas in July from Embroidery Library!

If you do machine embroidery, Now is the time to hurry over to Embroidery Library and sign up for their 2016 Christmas Club! You can either click on the tab on the far right side of your screen that is red and says Christmas Club or just click on the link. You will need to go into your profile and at the bottom of the page is a box to click saying you want to join (if you were a member of the club last year, you have to sign up again). Save your profile after clicking the box and you are done. Their first email newsletter should be coming out August the 5th, so don't delay.

If you haven't been part of the Christmas Club before, you will get lots of Christmas discount, your purchases for the next few months will earn you a gift card depending on how much you buy. You will get Freebie Christmas designs along with your usual monthly freebies, and you will get members only designs at a discount.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Christmas In July at Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts

After realizing how difficult it could be for my customers to find Christmas patterns, craft kits, fabric, etc. to prepare for the holiday season since they were scattered throughout our store, we have listed all Christmas items under the umbrella of Moonwishes Christmas Store . From there we have sorted the Christmas items into different categories, but by clicking on the Christmas Store link you will find everything in one list. If you want to find counted cross stitch Christmas designs, you will find a link to them under categories of Christmas Store -- craft kits, patterns, books, etc. We hope that this will making shopping for the season easier for you. We also have lots of inventory to add as we get items photographed and descriptions listed, so come back often As crafters, we know that we can't leave crafting until December to make things or we would never get done!
We have several different pattern companies Santa Claus costumes so you can take your pick of styles, sizes, etc.
We also sell a lot of pajama patterns right before the holidays so here is a list for you to look at, Pajamas
We hope this helps you for this holiday season!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Hand Embroidery - Part One: Threads and Flosses

I have way too many hobbies for someone that has had to slow down ALL my activities as I get tired so quickly these days. I like to quilt and after years of using for the most part my embroidery machine, a Janome 300e, to do embroidery, I have reverted back to trying to do more hand embroidery with the embroidery machine doing quick or else very long projects. Part of this has to do with having to limit my time with my feet down which of course limits my time in my sewing room.  I have a rolling cart with most of my embroidery supplies on the different shelves. It is a different type of cart that I picked up at a yard sale or the thrift store; I don't remember which, but it was worth every penny. Now while watching TV or a movie if my hands are up to it I can embroider or work on my hexagon project.

All this meaning that I have become very interested in hand embroidery resources which include books and magazines. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find an embroidery magazines that aren't devote to counted cross stitch? I had found one called Inspirations which is the cream of the crop and is an Australian magazine that is rather expensive, but I found out this month that they do have a much cheaper electronic version that you can download and have it forever (some magazines are only on your Kindle or tablet for 6 months and then they disappear. Not a good thing if you are in the middle of a project! The other magazine I have found is Stitch, a Great Britain publication not be be confused with Stitch a US publication from Interweave Press which is a good magazine in it's own right but not devoted to embroidery like the British magazine. While finding a link to the US Stitch magazine, I discovered that it will cease publication in the fall of this year 2016 but some back issues are still available. If any reader knows of another purely embroidery magazine, I would love to know it's name and where it is published.

I'm more or less done with counted cross stitch at this point. I started doing hand embroidery in junior high and made a pair of pillowsaces for my hope chest. Now I want to get back into regular hand embroidery with all sorts of nifty stitches that can encompass embroidery, crewel work, and needlepoint.  I don't have much experience doing crewel work with wool or needlepoint. With needlepoint, even though I have picked up many books on the subject at library used book sales, I haven't found any that really show how to use the many different stitches instead of the boring tent stitch. Crewel work with wool I did from a pillow kit many years ago and since that time I haven't had any wool to work with until now. I have found a wonderful website that anyone that does handwork needs to read and sign up for regular blog posts. The site is called Needle 'n Thread. The woman named Mary Corbet is a supremely talented woman and has a marvelous wealth of information on her site and links to many different sources of supplies.

In my years since doing a lot of counted cross stitch, many new types of threads and more colors of threads have been developed. These past few months I have found a gold mine of embroidery floss, needlework kits and crewel wool at the thrift stores and yard sales. On top of what I have found for cheap On the Needle 'n Thread website, I have found links to some folks selling marvelous floss of different  types: cotton, rayon, silkd, regular embroidery floss as well as perle floss. One of the sites is called Colour Complements located on Etsy. The seller hand dyes her threads and makes varigated  floss in the yummiest of colors! The yellow/orange pack in the photo above is one of her sampler packs that you can get that has an assortment the different threads she makes and they all coordinate for your project. I'm still looking for the perfect project to use these on.

Another site I found was Threads Be Gone where I got the above assortment of SILK embroidery floss, something I had never owned much less stitched with. They also have a lot of other popular thread brands on their site. Yet again, I'm looking for the right project for these threads. I bought the colors that I did as they appealed to me and most were 'all purpose' colors that can be used in many different applications such as leaves, branches, sky, etc.

I also found some wonderful DMC floss called Color Variations that are simply gorgeous. Are you starting to see what my favorite type of floss is? Yes, I love varigated floss! When I'm in a store by in the embroidery floss isle, I want it all to scoop up and just play with all the threads there. They look like jewels to me. Be assured that if you are starting embroidery for the first time, or coming back into hand embroidery after a long absence or someone that has been doing it all along, I can assure you that there is a plethora of threads and supplies available out there for the choosing! Until next time, Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

New Free Embroidery Designs from Oma's Place

Here is a chance to get a new free machine embroidery design of a summer sun as well as a complete font: capital letters, small letters and frequently used puncuation that is about 3/4" high.

You can upload these designs as well as others than were introduced earlier at Oma's Place. Oh yes, you can even buy designs there. Many of her designs cater to little ones and the need for littler designs, although in the case of today's sun, it was part of a Summer Time mug rug. A nice, easy looking summer project when there is lots to do other than sit by a fire and stitch!

Monday, July 04, 2016

Book Review: Little Felted Dogs by Saori Yamazaki

I received a copy of this book from Amazon to do a review of the book for the Amazon Vine program.  Little Felted Dogs:  Easy Projects for Making Adorable Pups by Saori Yamazaki, Publisher: Potter Craft, Translation (c) 2016 original (c) 2010, ISBN 978-0-553-44796-5, hardcover, 112 pages, Full color photo illustrations with line drawing illustrations.

I thought the photos of the dogs in this book to be absolutely charming! Even if you decide not to make any of the projects in this book, a child would love looking at the dog pictures since they are cartoon types dogs but 20+ different breeds of dogs. Here is the review that I posted on Amazon:


When I first started hearing about needle felting 5 or so years ago, I didn't 'get it'. I saw some projects done by machine that were set up with 5 needles. These machine's needles would felt at the same time so it would be easy to felt a large amount of space at a time. Or you can use a much smaller and cheaper set up like the author of this book does. Finally I'm starting to 'get it' why people like doing this and I have seen some spectacular items made by needle felting, but this book shows the most charming items I have seen!

The author of the book uses the most minimal equipment to accomplish her task of making these dog designs that run from 3" to about 5" tall. She is very careful with the coloring and facial expressions of the dogs. They are very cute and adorable looking. If you love to craft they would make a perfect gift for a dog lover, especially since you could change the colors to suit the dog you are replicating. You can buy kits here on Amazon that include the proper needles and supplies of the wool to be used in some of these dog projects. This kit: Estone 50 color wool needle felting seems to have the best selection of wool colors for making animals with plenty of brightly colored wool for additional projects but there are plenty of other options to choose from.

Have fun with your new hobby!


I was not able to attempt to try these dogs because of arthritic hands, but for those that want a hobby that doesn't take up much space, this may be the one for you. Some reviewers thought that it was really wasn't an easy book and others had no trouble, so you would have to decide for yourself if this is what you would like to do or try.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Embroidery Library Free machine Embroidery Designs through July 4, 2016

Hey machines embroiderers, Embroidery Library has some really cute ice cream and popsicle designs for free in several sizes each, thrugh July 4, 2016. Each design comes in three sizes and there are four designs which makes 12 designs to download. Remember my mantra? When it is free download it anyhow even if you don't have the ability to sew out that size yet. Maybe someday you will.

Today is also the last day for their June designs and the new July designs are up -- two designs in 5 sizes each. So July designs you can get a total of 22 designs and if you don't have the June ones yet and can download them tonight, you will get 32 designs. How awesome is that??

Want to be able to sew out those bigger size designs? Check out Janome's 500e or 400e at your local dealer or you can buy on line through Amazon. I espeically like the looks of the 400e after studying the manual and that is a someday, maybe machine for me. Currently I use my 300e and it works for me although to be able to embroider out the really big designs would be fun! I found a Clothsetter 10000 at a yard sale the other for a really good price. I haven't had one all this time, but since I am anticipating a large embroidery project, I think it will pay for itself pretty quickly in helping me line designs up. I'm just about done cleaning up my sewing room so I can start getting some new projects going in a bit.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Me and My Sewing Room

For awhile other than to continue sorting out and cleaning up, I haven't gotten much done in my sewing room, then I had the chance to review some items from Amazon that were good 'blanks' for embroidering on. So I have been doing more sewing, but running out of time for posting. I'm not sure how others find time to post so much.

One of the first things that I got to embroider on were these lime green towels that if you are a regular customer you get your pick of colors, but if you are a Vine reviewer you get what you get. Of course I found that the lime green went great with the Project Linus frog quilts that I haven't gotten finished, but I embroidered the frogs from Embrodiery Library and used the lettering in my Janome 300e to write on the other end, Burp Baby Burp. I did this one in blue to go along with the quilt, and the next burp rag will be in pink lettering since the quilt will be more pink. I think I have enough of the frog fabric and coordinates to make at leat two more quilt tops and happy to say I have two more lime green towels too so I can make burp rags to include with those quilts as well! I know when my boys were little they were champion spit-up kings so spare burp rags are always welcome.

In the midst of the sewing I got another addition to my sewing room courtesy the Vine prgram. It is a bedside stand, but as far as I am concerned it is making a great stand to hold my Janome 300e at the proper level. No more stretching my arms up to thread it. Beautiful isn't it?

Then I got this great set of placemats and napkins. I didn't attempt trying to embroider the placemats as they were woven and seemed pretty thick, but I did embroider the napkins. With a niece getting married, it seemed appropriate to embroider their monograms on the napkins using a design that has been built into all Janome embroidery sewing machines since the first 8000. It isn't like I don't have more lettering and wreath styles to enclose them, but as the years have gone by, the software for manipulating designs on the 300e it has become harder and more time consuming to transfer designs to the machine. So I always end up with the default designs. If I had my druthers, I would upgrade, but don't have the finances to do so at this point in my life.

I also got a set of two black butcher aprons. I wasn't real impressed with the weight of the fabric or the construction, but sufficient if you need some colored aprons for a one or two time event. So for the newlyweds I embroidered their name on each apron, the letting again from the 300e and I appliqued the free-hand cut heart on each apron. Not even sure if either cooks but trying out their aprons might inspire them.

I also got in two different sets, one was a set of six purple tea towels and several weeks later a set of purple and white zig zag pot holder and oven mitt. This was great as I got some items that coordinated. This afternoon I embroidered the curvy lines on the towels using my Janome 7700 stitch #149 on the default settings. I used the cloth guide to keep me sewing straight as I didn't want these lines going all over. Some people complain about not being able to draw a straight line, I can't sew a straight line without a little help! I do wish that there was a stitch like this one only more pointy like the zig zags on the pot holder and oven mitt. Maybe some machine have them. Mine don't.

I also tried out Embroidery Library's Wild Rose Spray on one of the towels. These towels really embroidered easily, just be sure to use the right stabilizer behind it. I still have three more of these towels to embroider, but not quite sure what exactly to do with them.

I was just happy to be in my sewing room more than I had been in a very long time. I'm feeling much better than usual. I don't know if it is the Remicade IV I get every six weeks, the warmer summer weather or the fact that I have been cutting out a lot of chocolate out of my diet. Could be all of them or none of them, just happy for each day I feel fairly well. I'm even trying to push myself to take extra steps as much as possible each day. They say with RA it is important to exercise but it is so easy to go too far and end up not being able to move for the next couple of days, so I'm trying to 'sneak' the exercise in! Hey thanks for reading.

My latest on my wish list of machines I would like to have. They also have a new Janome 9400 out but doesn't look like it is currently for sale at Amazon. What can I say, I love sewing machines and the fancier the better. With our current family economics, these are just dreams. I'm fortunate to have a great dealer in my town where I would buy my machines from, Super Stitch in North East, PA, but for those that aren't that fortunate isn't it great to be able to buy something like this on line?