GrandSlam Designs

GrandSlam Designs has a large number of machine embroidery designs, all currently available at a special price of $5 per design.

http://www.grandslamdesigns.com/

As I’ve been looking for various sewing related machine embroidery designs, I was able to evaluate their “spool of thread” design. It is a cute design that would work well in many sewing related themed projects. While I had a good experience stitching out this design, I found it to not be a design that would work well for just any application.

For this particular design, I tested it on various materials and stablizers. I was able to optimize the quality of the design when I used a smooth fabric. This design is cute, but I think it would stitch out better if it had a higher thread count for underlying stitch count, as well as a stronger outline stitch. To clarify, some of the outline stitching was a single thread, whereas parts of the outline stitching was a double stitch. Either way, the loose thread, off the spool, does not stand out if the design is stitched out on anything but a smooth fabric (e.g. avoid terry dish towels). The shading on the spool of thread is also something that I think could be more artistic, as all shade stitches are on the same angle (none are angled for to reflect the spool of thread).

To clarify, Grand Slam Design sales this cute spool of thread design on their website. I added the verbage “If she sews, she knows”.

GrandSlam Designs offers many cute machine embroidery designs, of which I’m sure they’d stitch out quite well. But for the particular “spool of thread” design that I evaluated, I found this particular design to be very cute.  Definitely an appropriate design for anyone that enjoys quilting, sewing, or embroidery.  Also a good design to make gifts with.  But I would recommend, for those stitching out this particular design to re-stitch the final thread that flows out above the spool as the design has it so lightly stitched it does not show up on prints, or as distinctly on solids as you may wish.  Thus, consider a test stitch out if you want to apply it to a costly material.

Congratulations to the Class of 2009

This is always a special time of the year to me. I love seeing the excitement of someone who has completed their education and is graduating. They have worked hard to get to where they are and it is certainly a milestone worth celebrating. But I always struggle with what to give someone who is graduating.

My stash had some fleece blankets, that I had purchased on a super sale. And I was lucky that the colors match the school colors (red & brown) of a graduate that I wanted to give something to. While trying to decide what to machine embroider on this blanket, I feel I really lucked out.

I found a great “Class of 2009” design on sewforum.com that I was able to put in the center of this fleece blanket. I then came up with the idea of putting something in each corner. But, as this gift was meant as a surprise to the graduate, I was struggling with to put in each corner. The name of the graduate, school, degree, and graduation date were all possibilities. But on my own, I wasn’t exactly sure what the official degree title is, and I wondered if I could come up with something more valuable than the “date of graduation”, given I had “Class of 2009” in the center.

Since I use Facebook and had a link to this person’s wall on Facebook, I decided to see if I could become a secret friend of one of their college buddies. To my surprise, I was successful on my first try. And a very nice young lady came back with some great suggestions for what to put in each corner, plus helped to verify the correct degree title. But something I would have never thought of, was the name of the dorm that this person lived in for four years.

I have this blanket now ready to give away. While the photos don’t do the blanket justice, I wanted to share with you. To clarify, what I machine embroidered on this blanket is: In the center, “Class of 2009”, and in each corner I placed Name, degree title, dorm name, and college name.

If there is anyone out there looking for an idea for creating commercial ME designs, I believe there is a market for more graduation & college related designs. I know I would have bought some if I could have found them when I searched for ideas for this project.

http://www.SewCalGal.blogspot.com

Honoring Veterans

I wish I could find special words to tell how much I appreciate what Veterans have given us. Today is Memorial Day in the US, but from my perspective, Memorial Day isn’t just an American holiday, it is a day that has a special place of recognition in many parts of the world.

Today I listened on the radio to children in Belgium singing American songs, in recognition to American Soldiers that fought on their soil in World War I and World War II. I’ve heard stories from many people, throughout the world, that feel their lives were changed by soldiers, from the U.S. as well as soldiers from other parts of the world, that fought on their soil, to help provide freedom.

When I travel internationally, I meet people who again make me realize that Memorial Day isn’t an American holiday. Memorial Day is a day for those that believe in democracy to recognize those that have fought, and lost their lives, to provide us that freedom.

Again, I know I’m not a professional writer, or someone that has the gift of writing beautiful words that depict what is in their heart. I’m greatful. I’m appreciative. I know how lucky I am to have what I have, to live with out fear, to live where I have opportunities, to live where I have the right to complain and to vote. And to live in a world, where with other countries that hold similar values, our soldiers sacrifice to help provide freedom and safety throughout the world.

When I was a very young woman, I had the good fortune of traveling on my first international trip, with my mother. One of our stops was in Korea. This was in the early 1970’s and, like many countries, Korea was economically challenged due to years of conflict. One encounter on this trip is something I hope I’ll never forget. Our tour guide took us through a local market, where a young man, whom was my age, asked to take my hand. I was shy and hesitant. The tour guide explained to me that this young man, who was selling fish out of a wicker basket, simply wanted to wish me (a young college student) good luck in life and all the best that life could offer. Yes, I’ve never wanted to forget that this young Korean wanted to wish me such happiness. But, it was a matter that he was still so appreciative, as his family was still dealing with post-Korean War issues. And he was very appreciative to the Americans, and others, that had fought in the Korean War.

So, I will always enjoy making patriotic quilts. Every stitch finds a special place in my heart, and I appreciate how lucky I am. Unfortunately, I haven’t been good about taking photographs of these quilts to share with you. Still, I want to share a photo of the “back” of a patriotic quilt that I made for a charity quilt fundraiser.

I hope you have a happy Memorial Day. I hope you feel safe and you and your loved ones are in fact safe. Should you have someone in your family that has served to protect us, I hope you will give them a big hug from me. And, should you have someone in your family who is currently serving in the Military, please know that they are in my prayers for a safe assignment and that they will soon return home.

http://www.SewCalGal.blogspot.com

Sew-conomics

The news is continually reporting about world economics. We hear about real estate prices dropping, people getting laid off and businesses shutting down. Borrowing has set the stage for our current economic problems, so I fully understand the need to not spend more than one has. And we all know that we need to save some money and spend some money. So, for those that can afford to spend money, this article is for you!

This may not be new news, but it takes a lot of money to start a business. And, it takes a lot of money to keep the doors of a business open. So, my pitch today is for us to support our favorite businesses that we rely on for sewing, quilting and our machine embroidery projects. Whether your favorites businesses are on-line or nearby stores, these are difficult times for these businesses. Many of our favorites have been struggling to keep the doors open. I’ve heard from some of these businesses that their sales are down 20-50%, but it could be even worse for some businesses.

If we see more of our favorite stores going out of business, these store owners may never re-open and we may not always see a replacement business opening their door. So, while money is tight for many of us I simply want to encourage you to think about your favorite businesses. Now is the time to spend money in these stores, if you can afford it.

If we all go out and buy something at our favorite sewing, quilting, or embroidery store(s) we’ll be stimulating our world of sew-economics. If you don’t have a project you need something for, consider buying something as a gift for your favorite sew-cial friend!

And, it is ok to spend generously with these businesses too! After all, we want them to be in business for the long run. So, go out and help the sew-conomics by shopping with your favorite sources for sewing, quilting and embroidery items.

http://www.SewCalGal.blogspot.com

Become a Bargain Hunter

If you have an open mind and like the hunt, there are many wonderful bargains to be found. You may want to think of yourself as one that likes to sew, quilt, and/or embroider, but someone that does it environmentally!

How can one stretch a budget in these economically challenged times and still enjoy sewing, quilting or doing embroidery? Besides winning contests, buying items on sale or through bonus buys, there are still several ways to continue to have fun with our talents, as well as helping the environment. How you ask? Well, that is what this article is about. I just ask you keep an open mind on the method of sourcing the supplies, and focus on how you can create something spectacular, with a minimal budget (or $0 cost), while helping to save the environment thru recycling. And, if you have more insights, I hope you’ll consider sending me an email or posting a comment, to share. After all, the more we can all benefit from the help of others to stimulate the economy with our limited resources.

Here are my insights:

Consider shopping yard sales, thrift shops & estate sales. You can make a beautiful quilt from wool shirts, cotton shirts, jeans, and even old ties. I’ve even seen situations where new, high quality sewing machine needles, were sold for $0.50 a package! And quilting rulers, bags of machine embroidery thread, or bags of zippers for $1. All great deals that help stetch our budgets! Remember clothes, or bags, from these sources can look fantastic after you’ve added some machine embroidery designs and or other bling.

Take advantage of free patterns, or machine embroidery designs. They make a great way to reduce the expense of making a lovely item.

Spend more time building on your skills and growing your talent! Take time to read a tutorial on the web. Look for a project that can be created from your sewing stash, yet push you to do something creative you don’t normally do.

Check out your local Adult Ed programs, as they frequently have free, or very inexpensive classes for quilting, sewing and embroidery enthusiasts.

Host a sew-cial with friends. Organize a swap (quilt blocks, embroidered projects, etc.). Essentially focus on using items in your stash, and if you don’t like what you have in your stash, consider trading with others. And, if you don’t have much in your stash, consider what else you have to trade with those that do have something you might like (e.g. bake cookies, trade for sewing time, etc.).

Remember, to challenge yourself to be creative and it doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of money to pursue this challenge. Focus on being green and pursuing the hunt and creativity in an economical manner! Continue to remind yourself that the best things in life are free.

http://www.SewCalGal.blogspot.com

Why am I writing about chocolate?

You may wonder why I’m writing about chocolate? Well, this is my week to write about ways to stretch our dollar during these economic times, along with how we can help stimulate the economy. So, from my perspective, I get very stimulated when I have chocolate. It is a special treat for me to have chocolate when I’m in a class or at a retreat. And it is even better to win free chocolate! If you feel the same, you may want to finish reading this article.

Mars Candy is handing out free candy bars. It’s part of a new promotion called the Mars Real Chocolate Relief Act, and it’s one you probably you won’t want to miss.

All you have to do is head over to RealChocolate.com on any (or every) Friday between now and September 25. Mars Candy will give coupons for free full-size candy bars. You’ll get to choose between: Snickers, Twix, Dove, 3 Musketeers, or M&Ms. The catch is that only the first 250,000 people who sign in every Friday will get a coupon for a free candy bar!

The weekly giveaway will open at 9 a.m. ET and close at 11:59 p.m. ET. {or until the 250,000 coupons have been given away}.

The initial sign in process will ask you for some basic information: Name, email, etc. But this will expedite the process for you to sign in each week. If you are one of the lucky 250,000 people to get a coupon for a free candybar, the coupon will be mailed to you within five weeks. You can only get one per e-mail address per Friday, and four per mailing address total over the entire five-month period.

Doesn’t this sound like a yummy way to help the economy and for you to get stimulated? Be sure to schedule this weekly activity starting this Friday!

https://aws.realchocolate.com/

http://www.SewCalGal.blogspot.com

Bonus Buys & Sales *updated*

An obvious way to stretch your spending dollar is through bonus buys and sales. But it is easy in our busy life to not find out about these opportunities, until it is too late. While I may not know about all the great opportunities for Bonus Buys and Sales, I wanted to let you know about those that I am aware of….in hopes that you can take advantage of these great opportunities. And, if you know of any that I’m not aware of I hope you’ll post a comment or send me an email with your insights.

Bunnycup.com
For Machine Embroidery enthusiasts, Bunnycup.com has many wonderful machine embroidery designs. And,to help you stretch your spending dollar, they have a bonus buy opportunity in the month of May, where you get a free design set with every set you buy. www.bunnycup.com

Cozy Quilt Shop
For the Machine Embroidery & Sewing enthusiasts, Cozy Quilt Shop has a fun Memorial Weekend sale. They have their traditional coupon Draw, where you could receive a coupon up to 40% off your purchases. And they have a bonus buy where every $30 you spend you receive a free Cozy Quilt pattern. Plus, on Monday, they have 30% off all machine embroidery designs (includes all design packs and embroidery take out).
Cozy Quilt Shop, 2940 Jamacha Road, El Cajon, CA 92019 http://www.cozyquilt.com/

EmbLibrary
For Machine Embroidery enthusiasts, EmbLibary has a great sale on many machine embroidery designs that are only $1 each, plus they have some fantastic designs for only $0.17 each with each purchase.
www.emblibrary.com

EmbroideryDesigns.com
For Machine Embroidery enthusiasts, Embroidery Designs.com has a fantastic sale thru May 31st. All Flags $2.50 Plus all Balboa & Starbird designs are also on sale.
www.embroiderydesigns.com

Ericas.com
For quilting and sewing enthusiasts, Ericas.com has an exceptional sale on fabrics 65% off. http://www.ericas.com/fabric/saleindex.htm

FabricShop.com
For quilting and sewing enthusiasts, the FabricShop.com has a nice sale. http://www.fabricshack.com/cgi-bin/Store/store.cgi

FatQuarterShop.com
For quilting and sewing enthusiasts, FatQuarterShop.com has a nice sale.
http://www.fatquartershop.com/onsale.asp?Store_id=499&Page_Id=15&T=1

GotFabric.Com
For quilting and sewing enthusiasts, GotFabric.com has a wonderful Memorial Day Sale thru May 25th.
www.GotFabric.com

Grand Slam Designs
For embroidery enthusiasts, Grand Slam Designs has a Grand re-Opening sale going on to celebrate their new website. Many new designs, and all of their wonderful machine embroidery designs are on sale for $5. http://www.grandslamdesigns.com/

Hancocks-Paducah.com
For quilting and sewing enthusiasts, Hancocks-Paducah.com has a nice sale. http://www.hancocks-paducah.com/SubCategory–WEB-SALE-FABRIC–m-62

JoAnn.com
For quilting and sewing enthusiasts, JoAnn.com (and their stores) has a wonderful sale going on, which includes an extra 10% off your order including sale items.
This extra 10% off your purchase is good over Memorial weekend.
http://www.joann.com/

Paperpieces.com
For quilting enthusiasts, Paperpieces.com has a Great Blowout sale thru May 23. Amazing prices. www.paperpieces.com

Quilters Quarter
For quilting and sewing enthusiasts, Quilters Quarter has an amazing sale with 60% off of everything! http://www.quiltersquarter.com/

Secretsof.com
For embroidery enthusiasts, SecretsOf.com has a great sale on many beautiful machine embroidery designs.
http://www.secretsof.com/content/2785?PHPSESSID=18abe99a84aa94149d91bdf1206767ab

Vermillion Stitchery
For machine embroidery enthusiasts, Vermillion Stitchery has a monthly special where each month they offer two cd’s of machine embroidery designs at 50% off. http://www.vsccs.com/

WishUponAQuilt.com
For quilting enthusiasts, Wish Upon A Quilt has a great blow out sale in May. Use coupon code: BLOWOUT for 10% off your entire order through May 22
http://www.wishuponaquilt.com/cgi-bin/Store/store.cgi

http://www.SewCalGal.blogspot.com

Insights on Fun Contests *updated*

Entering a contest can be fun, especially if you enjoy the dream of winning. While I don’t consider myself a lucky person, I do enjoy the dream of being a winner.

Here are some insights on current contests that you may want to enter. Good Luck!

Creative Machine Embroidery Magazine
How do you sew for LE$$?
Send photos of your economical projects to info@cmemag.com. Let us know how much the project materials cost, and be sure to include your full name and mailing address with each entry. We’ll post your project photos at cmemag.com, and one winner (from a random drawing) will receive a grab bag full of machine embroidery products valued at over $50. Click here for more info on this delightful contest.
http://www.cmemag.com/index.html

Dryer Ice Cream Neighborhood Solute
Do you have great neighbors? Maybe your are lucky to have neighbors you can have a sew-cial with. For whatever reason, if you feel you have great neighbors and want to win a free ice cream social for your neighbors you may want to enter this contest with Dryer Ice Cream. You could invite 100 of your neighbors and friends! But you need to enter by May 29th.http://dreyers.neighborhoodsalute.com/

Fabric.Com
Win a Trip to Italy
Fabric.com is giving away a trip to Italy designed just for people who love to sew in their Sew Much Fun Sweepstakes.

The grand-prize winner will receive a trip for one to Italy to go on a Tactile Travel Tour. The Textile Trek Tour brings you to Como, Italy, where you’ll stay in the region once famed for its gorgeous silk. You’ll travel into town by ferry, go to local markets, and dine at outdoor cafes. Then you’ll travel to other regions of Italy to see how they produce fabrics like wool and cashmere. The entire prize package is worth an estimated $3,850.

One first-prize winner will also receive a Dell Inspiron 15-inch laptop computer, while a second-prize winner will receive a $500 Fabric.com Gift Certificate. Entry is open to US residents aged 18 and above. Enter daily through May 31, 2009.
www.Fabric.com

Fons & Porter
Fons & Porter is holding a contest where they are also searching for the youngest quilter. And the winner will receive a $250 gift certificate to www.ShopFonsandPorter.com!

To win, you can fill out an entry form online at http://www.fonsandporter.com/aspx/fonsandporter/clientpage.aspx?pageid=185
Or you can mail your entry on a post card to:

Kids Quilts Summer 2009 Contest
PO Box 71
Winterset, IA 50273

Entries are free, but need to be received before July 21st, 2009. All you need to do is share insight about the youngest quilter you know!

FreshProduce
Win 25 pieces of clothing from Fresh Produce. Simply enter by May 25th to win. Click here to enter online. Fresh Produce has wonderful clothes, including plus sizes 1X to 3X. Very comfortable and durable, with great colors and creative prints. Absolutely perfect for the quilter, machine embroidery or sewing enthusiasts.

Grandma’s Attic
http://www.grandmasatticquilting.com/win.htm

WIN FREE FABRIC!

Thank you for visiting our Grandma’s Attic website. Every month we will hold a drawing for a free bundle of quilt fabric. To enter our month drawing for free fabric, please fill in the form below.

JoAnn Fabric & Craft Stores
Sew Jo-Ann Prom Contest 2009: lst place prize: $1,000 + Singer 8763 Curvy Electronics Sewing Machine + Dritz “My Double” Deluxe Dressform, 2nd Place Prize: $500 + Singer Serger, 3rd Place Prize: $250 + Drize “My Double” dressforjum. Winning entries chosen for: workmanship, originality, level of detail. Entrant criteria is that they make the garment with little or no assistance from others. Entries forms can be picked up at JoAnns, but need to be mailed by June 30th 2009. Open to students 14 to 19.

Lands End
Enter Before May 31st Win a trip to Barbados
http://aka.landsend.com/lp/swimwear-getaway/#/island/sweepstakes/

Quilter’s Choice
Stimulus Sale
http://www.quilterschoice.com/newsletter.htm

SewForLess.com
Enter Before May 20th to win copy OESD’s Fantastic Flora Embroidery Design CD-ROM. Just enter a comment
http://sewforless.com/embroideryblog/index.php/2009/05/15/teapots-embroidery-designs-by-annie-lang-a-new-style-for-your-tea-towels/

SewForLess also has an opportunity to win $100 when you buy a product and write a review about it on their site.

Spoonflower.com
Fabric of the week contest. Create your own fabric design and submit your entry to Spoonflower.com. Each week entries are voted upon and the winning entry receives five yards of fabric with their fabric design.
www.Spoonflower.com

If you know of other fun contests, please send me an email and I’ll include them in this posting.

Contest & Bargain Week

I’m postponing some articles I had planned for this week, as I’ve decided to spend this coming week focusing on ways to have fun in these economic times. There are some great contests and super duper bargains out there. I’ve been researching how to make the dollar go further, for those that love to machine embroider, sew and/or quilt. While I’m not an expert at this, I’m planning on sharing my findings this week.

Ultimately, I’m thinking it would be great if there was an economic stimulus package that focused on those that were interested in machine embroidering, sewing and/or quilting? I, for one, certainly think we could get the economy stimulated quickly. Yes, we need more economic stimulus as we don’t want to find out that any more businesess that support our addiction close their doors. And we need to spend more money in these businesses,to ensure they remain in business, but we also need to find creative ways to stretch our budgets to do so. So, check back for more info on this topic.

If you have any suggestions, feel free to email me.

Entry Deadline Approaching – San Diego Quilt Show

The deadline is fast approaching to enter your items into the San Dieqo Quilt Show. And, if you are not from this area, this is also a great time to make plans to come to San Diego and see this wonderful show.

The 28th annual San Diego Quilt Show will be held at the San Diego Convention Center, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, September 17th – 19th, 2009.

Guest Artist: Shirley Greenhoe, Missoula, MT

Location: San Diego Convention Center
111 West Harbor Drive, Hall A

Show Also Includes: Hundreds of quilts on display, charity raffle, quilt sales booth, special exhibits, vendors, cloth doll display, quilting bee, wearable art, and the 2009 fashion challenge.

To enter your items in this show, you can click here for the form.
Page One
Page Two

While your entry need not be completed to submit your entry form, your entry form needs to be submitted by June 6th. Completed forms need to be mailed to:

Registrar of Quilts
P.O. Box 420148
San Diego, CA 92142-0148

For more info email: sdsqs2002@hotmail.com

San Diego Quilt Show – www.sandiegoquiltshow.com

For those coming from out of town, here are some recommendations for places to stay:

* San Diego Mariott Hotel & Marina{next to the Convention Center & on San Diego Bay}

* Catamaran Resort Hotel {in Pacific Beach, close to Sea World}

* Hilton Hotel {on Mission Bay, near Sea World}

Paradise Point Resort & Spa {on Mission Bay, near Sea World}

I hope you will come to this great show and take some time to enjoy beautiful San Diego.

http://www.SewCalGal.blogspot.com
  Full Disclosure - Affiliates with QuiltShopGal