Category Archives: Embroidery

Book Review: Machine Embroidery in 6 Easy Lessons

By Crafts-a lot Contributor, Mable who is an avid reader of craft blogs & magazines and has aspirations to improve her crafting skills. Join Mable on Facebook to socialize and share with other crafters!

Machine Embroidery in 6 Lessons

Do you have an interest in machine embroidery but haven’t a clue how to get started? This is the book you need to get your custom machine stitching underway. The book starts from one of the hardest parts– finding the right machine. It goes through, step by step each feature that embroidery machines have, and how you can benefit from them. As you add features, the price goes up, so you can learn what features the machine you can afford has. From there, learn about the basic supplies that you will need to get to stitching. This way, you can leave the craft store confident that you’ve gotten everything you need.

After you’ve learned about the tools you need, Machine Embroidery in 6 Easy Lessons takes you through the step-by-step process of designing, placing, and stitching your pattern. It quickly becomes obvious that each lesson in the book is crucial to making your machine embroidery the way you want. Each tip and trick will save you a lot of heartache and issues in the future. There is even a lesson on how to properly hoop your fabric so that the design ends up exactly where you want it! It comes with industry standards for placement of embroidery, and tips for making sure your hard work ends up looking fabulous.

One of my favorite things about this book is the 12 point checklist written in the back. It’s a perfect reference tool for machine embroiderers,  no matter how experienced you are. Instead of flipping through the book every time, you’ll only have to look at one page and know that you’re completing every step. The book also comes with handy machine embroidery tools including an angle finder, centering ruler, target ruler, and target stickers. The book teaches you how to use each and what they do.

If you’re even considering learning to machine embroider, take a look at Machine Embroidery in 6 Easy Lessons. Stop by on tomorrow for your chance to win an autographed copy!

Featured Crafter– Crystal Slonecker



Hi there, I’m Crystal and I’m crazy for cross stitching! My love for cross stitch, fashion, and accessories let me to create a line of on-trend necklaces that are full of color and pattern. Each piece is hand stitched by me and assembled in my home in Los Angeles, then sold in my Etsy shop. My background in makeup artistry gave me a greater understanding of color and detail, and that has translated directly into my jewelry. I am inspired by everything around me, from the sunny California weather to the latest runway shows. My favorite pieces are the double sided pendants (wear with twice as many outfits!), and I just started offering a design your own initial pendant. Buyers get to choose their own colors and font type!
I am excited to continue to grow my business and have lots of new products being introduced in the next year.



Interested in being a “Featured Crafter”? We want to hear from our crafty friends about what they like to create. Share with us what you put your energy into, whether it is your passion, your business, or simply something you enjoy doing. Do you have your own blog, Etsy store or craft products? Tell us about it!

Click here to submit a “Featured Crafter”!

Craft Trends – Cross Stitch

By Craft Trends Contributor, Gillian from the blog Dried Figs and Wooden Spools. Check out our Craft Trends board on Pinterest!

I think my very first exposure to crafting, of any kind, was watching my mother cross stitch. It was an evening ritual that began with the winding of the thread onto cards and ended with samplers and pillows and embroidery galore. And I have to admit that when I had my chance to pick up a needle and thread and give it a go I found it…boring. Not the sewing, but the results. I didn’t like the style of the patterns available, so I just avoided cross stitch. For a long, long time. But lately, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, cross stitch is cool again. Cross stitch patterns themselves have come a long way, with a wide range of stylish, modern and funky styles available, not to mention the growing trend to create your own patterns.

And cross stitch sewing isn’t the only thing that’s in, cross stitch style, from painted and printed to oversized yarn stitching crops up in all manner of design situations. I love these wall sized cross stitch art pieces, so simple but so fun!

Cross-stitch as Wall Art

Equally cool is this idea of labels for your pantry staples using cross stitch fonts. Think how fun this style would look on your craft room bins!

Cross-stitch Canisters

Whether you want to take advantage of cross stitch style, or you’re interested in jumping into the craft itself, check out our archives and kits to help get yourself started. And don’t forget to hop over to our Craft Trends Pinterest Board for more inspiration!

No Sew Lace Pillow

By Craft Celebrity Mark Montano, from the blog Mark Montano’s Big Ass Blog.

I’m always looking for a good way to cover up a stain on a pillow. I finally found one. OK, I’m only half kidding! I just like gluing fabrics together because the bond is just amazing! Hot glue is an amazing fabric bond and did you know that E-6000 is washable? Either glue will work wonders on this project.

Any lace will do for a project like this and if you’re really adventurous, try doing it all over an old ottoman that needs some sprucing up. I think you might really like the results.



1. Cut your lace apart to separate the flowers and leaves.

2. If there is a rough edge or an edge that you think my fray, use Fray Check on it.

3. Carefully remove the stuffing from your pillow (or if you’re making a pillow, do this before you start stuffing it).

4. Lay your pillow flat and start arranging how you want your lace flowers.

5. Pin your lace pieces in place

6. Start gluing them with the hot glue until you’re satisfied.

7. Stuff your pillow and sew the hole closed and you’re done!

For this project and 100 more check out:


Also, for 150 terrific projects using items you probably already have, check out


4 Days to Decorate Your Thanksgiving Table – Table Runner

By Sewing Contributor Jessica, from the blog Life Sew Good. 

Day 3:  The Table Runner or Banner

You have table cloths, so why not just use what you already have and make it more special with a handmade runner? You don’t need a sewing machine for this one; all sewing is done by hand.

You Need:

If you want, google “leaf templates” and you will have plenty of options to print for this project. You will need a bigger leaf and then littler football-shaped leaves. I used a Wilton leaf cookie cutter for my template.

Cut leaves out of felt. I used 10 “big” leaves and 6 “little” leaves. However, you can make as many as you want to make it longer, shorter, or fuller.

If desired, you can hand embroider words that represent what you are thankful for (i.e., family, friends, faith). If may be easiest to use a pencil to draw the word you want, then hand stitch over the top.

Lay out leaves in the order you like and pin together.

Using a running stitch, sew leaves together. It’s helpful to occasionally lay it out to make sure it’s straight!

If you want to make it a banner instead of a table runner, stitch a piece of hemp cord onto the ends and hang.

Project 3: Complete!

1 Tee + 1 Tote Equals Fun

By Recycled Crafts Contributor, Anitra from the blog “Coffee Pot People”.

This is a very easy redo for a tote bag. All you’ll need for it is a t-shirt with a front or back you like, and a tote bag you’d like to dress up a bit. Your t-shirt front needs to be a little larger than the front of the tote.

First, flatten your tote bag so you can either draw around it to make a pattern, or cut around it, if you’re not worried about snipping an edge.

Now, lay your t-shirt out nice and flat. Put the pattern or tote on top of the tee, and cut, leaving ¼” to ½” extra all the way around to turn under. Turn under the edges to make the tee piece exactly the same size as your tote.

Most tote side edges are top-stitched or bound in seam binding. This makes them kind of separate from the body of the tote itself, which is why this is such an easy refurb. Starting at one upper corner of your tote bag, pin the tee piece right to that edge, and do a tight, close zigzag stitch all the way around.

That’s all there is to it–easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

(Note: My tee shirt front, as you may have noticed, was actually a bit short, so I let the hemmed lower edge be the upper edge, and blind stitched it across the top, rather than zigzagging. If you’re going to do that, make sure the shirt’’s design looks okay upside down!)

Embroidery Floss Storage

By Kid’s Craft Contributor, Gillian from the blog “Dried Figs and Wooden Spools”.

I’m not an embroiderer. Sure I pick up the odd assortment of embroidery floss now and again to add some pizzazz to knee patches or little boy ties, but on the whole, I don’t get around to a whole lot of embroidery. Which means that I don’t have a very good way of storing the thread. Instead, I tend to toss the leftovers from projects in with my ribbon and by the time I need it again, it’s such an unholy mess that I usually have to toss it out and buy more. My kids are seriously into friendship bracelets this summer and that means that, once again, I’ve had to go out and stock up on embroidery thread, but this time, I’m prepared for the onslaught of little colorful bundles of string. I’ve got clothespins. This method of storing embroidery thread is so simple and useful, you’ll wonder what you ever did without it!

Here’s what you’ll need:

1. Open the clothespin and then close it with the end of the thread on the inner part of the top, near (but not in) the smallest holes.

2. Start winding. Wrap the entire length of thread around the clothespin, keeping the thread between the spring and the large hole.

3. When you have reached the end, tug it through the end of the clothespin toward the larger hole. You can open the pin slightly iff necessary but you should be able to pull the string into place without opening the pin in most cases. The pin will hold the end in place until needed. When you want a section of thread simple pull it out from the end of the pin and unwind the length you need before refastening the new end!

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