Finished Product, Gift Idea, Home Decor, Kitchen Accessories

Wedding Gift Ideas & A Few Machine Embroidery Tips

June is a favorite time of year for weddings and it is always nice to make a unique personalized gift for young couples who are getting married.  A tradition of mine is to personalize a towel with the couple’s name and date of their wedding.

My nephew and his wife were recently married in Las Vegas.  I discovered an old wooden hanger from Hotel Sahara in Las Vegas in one of my favorite shops, and thought it would make a unique towel bar for their new kitchen towel.  I used my embroidery machine to prepare the design and personalize it with their names and wedding date, as you can see below.

A personalized towel for Shane and Lindsay
A personalized towel for Shane and Lindsay

I also thought it would be fun to make Lindsay an apron from my Anna’s Apron Pattern.  I chose some funky font fabric and, of course, a nice terry cloth towel (which is so handy to have on board your apron) and a complementing rick rack trim.

An apron for Lindsay
An apron for Lindsay

The best thing is that they were very pleased with their gifts, which always makes your day.

Now, I have to get busy as I have a few more wedding gifts on my “To Do” List.  Thought this may give you some ideas for fun wedding gifts.

I hope you are enjoying this beautiful summer weather.

Happy Sewing,


Tips on Embroidering Towels

If you are are interested in more details on how I embroidered the towel, along with a few more photos, continue reading.

Once you have your design prepared and loaded onto your machine, hoop your towel.  Start by folding the towel in half lengthwise and finger press the center, to give you a guide for placement of your design.  Use a water soluble marker and put a line across the center line, creating a cross to indicate where you want your embroidery design to be located vertically.  Use the plastic grid that came with your embroider hoop and align the center mark of the grid with the center mark on the towel.

Center the towel in your embroidery hoop, using the hoop grid to insure accurate placement
Center the towel in your embroidery hoop, using the hoop grid to insure accurate placement

I use a very handy accessory to hold my hoop in place when I am loading an item into the hoop.  It’s called the Master Hooper and it holds the outside of the hoop firmly in place while you are inserting the fabric and inner hoop.  Otherwise you may find yourself chasing the hoop around the table when attempting to hoop your fabric.

The Master hooper holding down the hoop
The Master hooper holding down the hoop

For a mid to light weight kitchen towel, use a light weight tear-away stabilizer.   As far as embroidery thread, I typically use Isacord or Aurafil thread.

I hoop the stabilizer first and then pin my fabric in place on top of the stabilizer, insuring that my pins are placed outside the stitching area.  (Note:  Sometimes I use a 505 Temporary Adhesive spray to help hold the fabric in place, but not always.  It depends on the project.)  My machine has the option to stitch a basting box around the design, which is very handy.

Once you have the fabric loaded in the hoop, load your hoop onto your embroidery module.

I like to bring up my bottom bobbin thread to the top, so that I know exactly where it is before I begin to stitch.  It also helps to avoid thread jams.

Design is almost finished
Design is almost finished

Push the button and engage the machine and complete your embroidery.  Once complete, unhoop the towel and gently tear away the stabilizer from the design.  If you leave some fragments, don’t worry, it will eventually wash out when laundered.  PRESTO,  you have a unique, personalized wedding gift for that special couple!

Your design is finished.
Your design is finished.
Finished Product, Gift Idea, Kitchen Accessories, New Patterns

Anna’s Apron Pattern Update

IMG_1443 - C IMG_1628 - CAnna’s Apron is a unique pattern for an apron in that it incorporates a terry cloth or cotton towel as the base for the apron.  When you wear this apron, you will always have a towel within reach.  Recently, I edited the pattern to include a trim along the hemline of the apron.

The apron can be made with a cotton towel, as shown in the first photo or a terrycloth towel as shown in the apron with the alphabet fabric.

When I recently taught my last apron class, all of the students chose to make the apron with the hemline trim.  They really liked the additional  “pop” the trim provides to the overall apron appearance.

Therefore, I have updated the pattern to include instructions for adding the optional hemline trim.  If you have already purchased this pattern and would like instructions for adding the trim, please leave a comment below and I will email you a copy.  Just let me know where you purchased your original (Etsy, Craftsy, Quilt Crossing, etc.)

Apron without hemline trim
Apron without hemline trim
Another apron with hemline trim.
Another apron with hemline trim.

If you would like to purchase an apron pattern, you can do so at Craftsy online or the Quilt Crossing in Boise.

I thought it would be fun to share some photos of apron class at Quilt Crossing last week.  It was a  fun group and they were all very pleased that everyone completed their apron, as you can see in the class photos below.

Thank you ladies, for a very fun time.  I hope you enjoy your lovely aprons!

My students adding trim to their apron
My students adding trim to their apron
IMG_1596 - C
Monica changing thread colors for her trim
IMG_1598 - C
Monica and Megan modeling their aprons
IMG_1599 - C
Talented Trio, Mary, Sarah and Connie
Finished Product, Gift Idea, Kitchen Accessories, New Patterns

Anna’s Apron – My New Pattern…

Last year, I made an apron for a gift exchange for our annual investment club’s Christmas party.  The girls really liked the apron I made and the final recipient said she loves to wear it because it is not only cute, but extremely practical as she no longer has to search for a kitchen towel when she is working in her kitchen.  Both of my daughters suggested that I should  create a pattern for it so I could share it with others, so…  

My first prototype of Anna's Apron with Terry Cloth Kitchen Towel and Route 66 themed fabric

I’m pleased to introduce my new pattern, Anna’s Apron.  The wonderful thing about this apron is that once you have it on, you always have a kitchen towel within your reach because it is the base of your apron.

Terry Cloth Apron with Optional Pocket

The pattern includes 2 different versions for the waistband as well as an optional pocket pattern piece and has detailed instructions and illustrations that walk you through the apron’s construction, step by step.   It is a fun and easy pattern to make.

The apron is a great gift idea and can be personalized for almost any occasion.  It is the perfect solution for those hard-to-shop for people on your gift lists. 

Anna's Apron with Woven Kitchen Towel as Base

You can also make the apron using a woven cotton kitchen towel.  I prefer the terry cloth towel because of the body and absorbency it provides and it is more wrinkle resistant. 

What I enjoy most about this pattern is that you can easily personalize the apron and really make it meaningful to the recipient,.  I have several pieces of fabric that I have collected for future aprons that will be a lot of fun to give because the theme of the fabric is relevant to the recipient.  For example, I have some fabric that has a coffee theme and the resulting apron will be a gift for my favorite coffee connoisseur.     The jumbo rickrack is a fun accent and perfect trim for this pattern.

This Apron has fabric with theme of San Francisco on Terry Cloth
Pat, my Apron Model


If you would like a  pattern, you can purchase a copy on Etsy  or by replying to this blog post.  It is also available locally in Boise at the Quilt Crossing. I think you will find this pattern to be a fun apron for yourself as well as for others.  You’ll be amazed at how handy it is to have your kitchen towel “at hand”.   I would love to see some of your finished projects and hope you will share pictures of them.   I also want to thank my friend, Pat Henderson, for being the lovely model for my apron pattern. 

Pattern Cover

I’m excited to share this new pattern with you and hope you will give it a try.

Happy Stitching!


Bias Trim, Finished Product, Gift Idea, Kitchen Accessories, New Patterns, Serger Option

New Pattern for Cake and Casserole Carrier with Potholders

Casserole Carrier with Potholders and outer spoon pocket
Fresh off the press!!!  I’m excited to share my new pattern for a very handy item – a cake and casserole carrier.     I made one for myself many years ago and after numerous requests, have recently made it into a pattern to share with others.
This view shows the inner pocket and lining

It is an easy to make pattern for a very practical item. If you make this for yourself, you will discover that this carrier will be one of your favorite items to use to transport hot dishes or cakes to your next picnic or social event.

The pattern includes 2 versions of the carrier and potholders.  Instructions are included for 2 types of edge finishes, a bias trim edge as shown in the previous pictures and a serged edge finish as shown below.
A carrier with a serged edge finish and inside spoon pocket
 It’s also a great gift idea that will be used over and over again.   This pattern will quickly become one of your favorites and if you can’t find a pre-quilted fabric in the kitchen colors you want, you can simply make your own quilted fabric to use.  What a great way to practice your free motion quilting.
Don’t forget the pair of matching potholders…

This is also a great project to use a binder attachment, if you have one for your machine.  I was able to make the models you see in the pictures using Bernina’s Binder Attachment #88 and it worked great.The pattern is currently available at Etsy and is also available locally in Boise at the Quilt Crossing.

I will be teaching a class using this pattern on Tuesday, June 12th at the Quilt Crossing, which should be a lot of fun.  I need to caution you, this pattern can be addictive! Happy Sewing…Jane