Okay, she got it so now I can post a picture of a TQS badge that I made for Peggy (Weaver49).  I had so much fun making this and hope showing a picture will inspire all of you that have the digitized file to actually stitch it out and don’t forget to add either your real name or your TQS screen name.  After all, I want to be able to spot you, recognize your name and come give you a hug!  I’m sure there are many others out there looking for you too.

Here’s the front and my thoughts as I’m doing each section.  She likes purple so I’m looking for thread to coordinate with light purple and dark purple to stitch it in.  I stitched it in the larger size because she asked for her screen name to be included.   At first, I was going to add a pin to the back but being nearly 4 inches by 4 inches is a pretty darn big pin so instead I added a satin rope so she could wear it around her neck.  Hmmm…how to attach the satin rope.   I’m thinking about that at the same time I’m thinking it really should have a back.  Since it is a badge, I added several layers of thick stablizer to the inside to keep it flat.  I’m searching in my stash — sitting cross legged on the floor when I spyed lone blocks.  You know those blocks that you try out techniques to see if you like it and for whatever reason they never get used in a project.  Of course, you can’t throw them out because WHAT IF!!!  I kept looking until I found one with colors that could go fairly well with the front.  Now, since I didn’t pre-think this whole process out before I started, I made it difficult on myself.  Because I had added all those layers of stablizer, the badge was exactly like I wanted it — STIFF.  Now, I’m wanting to add a back and turn it inside out — yeah right oh baby!  I managed to do it but if you plan on adding a back, don’t add the stablizer.  Instead, add something after you have turned the piece. 


Okay, the back is on and the satin rope has been stitched on.  The edges look good, and I smile thinking cool — looks good and I’m done.  Then I’m admiring the front thinking hmmmmm…. wonder what crystals would look like added.  Let’s see, I have light green crystals and purple crystals and even a color called sunrise for the middle.  I’ll add the middle one just to see what it looks like.  Yeah, I like that.  Okay, maybe a few more around the edges, and many, many minutes later I stop and think.  NICE, now that’s adding some Bling.  Of course, I love bling and forget that not everyone shares my enthusiasm for SPARKLE.  I keep my fingers crossed Peg likes it and she says she does and plans to wear it at a TQS taping next month.  Oh, if only I could wiggle into her suitcase and go too!

Oh before I forget — here’s the back and a one more picture.



I love giving gifts.  I would much rather give than receive.  I have one slight problem however.  And, actually it is a pretty big one because while I love giving gifts, I can’t stand the anticipation.  

I can feel your thoughts:  “what anticipation JoJo?”  Well, the anticipation of the person who is receiving it, getting it, opening it, enjoying it, etc., etc., etc.   It’s horrible for me and everyone who knows and loves me knows my horrible little secret.  Christmas is most painful for me.  I will work for months diligently on a present for a person, wrap it lovingly, tuck it under the tree, take a picture of it under the tree, and then 15 minutes later give it to the person.  It doesn’t matter that it is still 3 weeks away from Christmas.  I can’t stand the anticipation!  I want the person to have it and begin enjoying it NOW not later. 

Oh well, I guess that isn’t too bad of a problem.  I really do try to wait — really I do.   Today, I’m bursting at the seams for a special person to receive my most recent creation.  Hopefully, she will get it in the mail today.  Now, if only I could sneak a camera into her house so I could watch her open it!  Hurry postman hurry…  Oh yeah, I gotta get another one in the mail today for another special lady.  Two presents in the same week — Ahhhh, it’s killing me.  :)


Oh wow… how I love to hate technology!  My new HD video camera is awesome but I’ve been procrastinating because the software that came with it is a….. how do I say it politely …. okay it’s crap, just plain crap.  But hey, they did throw it in the package for free.  LOL

I tried a few downloads that offered free for 30 days.  The first one was okay but slow in converting my native file and it really didn’t have much for editing.  The second program is great but there will be more of a learning curve.  I’m not able to do everything in the free version like adding music.  Once I buy it, I believe those sections will be unlocked. 

My video was toooooo long (over 20 minutes).  Okay, I get a little carried away talking about embroidery, and I am a talkative gal.  Add the two together and well, grab a nice cup of warm tea and turn up the volume.  This next tutorial is in 3 sections so you don’t have to sit still for the whole tute if you are short on time.   Sorry about the abrupt start/stops.  I will get better — promise!  Actually, I need to not go over 10 minutes so I don’t have to trim!!!

Please let me know what you think and what else you would like to know.  I’m trying to touch on a lot of different items to get you properly prepared. 

Part 1 of 3

2 of 3

Part 3 of 3


Sorry for the long delay, but darn life sure does happen when you’re not looking.  I got a little carried away with the original design process and realized that my first draft was way too big, too complicated, and way too many stitches for most folks to want to try out.  I removed the outer circle and changed the last circle to a simple satin stitch to get the stitch count down to under 9,000 stitches (design on the left) and 10,000 (design on the right).  I really want you to stitch this and if it’s 40,000 stitches, you probably will take a pass.  I like the look of the stitched version and hope you will too.

Now, the design has many possibilities.  While you are watching the design stitch out, you will notice that the internal design would be great by itself on a quilt block or a jacket.  Remember you don’t have to stitch the whole design.  You decide just how much you want / like and go for it. 

Please email me pictures so I can see what you come up with!

The pictures above are of my stitch out samples.  I used a cut-away stablizer.  The fabric is 100 percent cotton.  Check out how different it looks just because of the thread color change.  You are the designer so make it yours by choosing whatever color YOU want.  :)   Click on the link below to access the design files.  Please let me know if you have any problems downloading the designs. 


Okay, I’m nearly done with the design that you will soon be able to download and stitch.  There will be several sizes and versions of the design available so that regardless of what size embroidery hoop you have, you will be able to stitch and learn.




The first ‘very basic’ embroidery software demonstration is done, and I must apologize that the sound and my mouth do not match — oh my!  The video was done on my camera because I don’t own a digital camcorder yet. 

Perhaps Santa will bring me one if I’m a very good girl.



I’m in the planning stages of developing mini tutorials to answer basic questions on embroidery and digitizing.  My goal for these is to spur you on to further exploring and continued education.  I cannot stress how important it is to obtain as much education on your software as you are able to.  The more you know and more comfortable you become, the more enjoyment you will achieve.  Don’t forget to also become intimate with your embroidery machine too.  You, your software, and your embroidery machine must all dance to the same tune or you’ll be booted off the dance floor pretty quickly!


My equipment both hardware and software is commercial because I do embroidery for a living, but I also own a Bernina sewing/embroidery machine.  Because these tutes are meant for home users, I will demonstrate on my Bernina instead of my commercial embroidery machine.  My Bernina’s embroidery module has never seen the light of day.  It’s hard to go to 1 needle when you’re used to 15!  J 


Where to start is the most difficult part.  I’ve decided to start on the software side and then gradually move to the hardware side.  I hope you find these beneficial and that my love of embroidery will come through and encourage you to not only do more embroidery but also to teach another person this wonderful art form.So BATTER UP and get your software manual out.  We’ll be up to the box soon!




Early this year was the first time I had heard of a Snuggie and the TV presentation was explaining how two companies actually offer this product.  Although the lesser known brand apparently did not start selling well until the marketing dollars of the latest company started generating interest in the product.


Now I had never seen or touched this product until today.  I am amazed at how popular these things are too. 


I must confess to being confused with all the hype however.  My confusion is somewhat compounded because I am a quilter and love to have handmade quilts surrounding me in our home.  In fact to help illustrate this – I’ll paint you a picture of one of our rooms in our home.  The size is approximately 12’ x 8’ and located within easy sight of the kitchen.  We have two small chairs and each chair has a small ottoman.  We also have a tiny loveseat in the room which happens to pull out into a slightly smaller than twin bed.  The only other furniture in the room is the TV and two very small round end tables.  Scale is everything when you have to live in a small area.  It has taken us 15 years to find the correct furniture for this room.  Have you started wondering where I am going with this yet?  J


Okay, I will get back to quilts where I was describing my quandary of Snuggies.  Well in our TV room (and regardless of the season it just happens to be) are anywhere from four to six quilts of various sizes. 


My husband generally has two quilts on his chair – one that hangs over the back of his chair and one that lays on the ottoman.  I also have two and my dog has “his” favorite binkie blankie on my chair.  Inside the loveseat you will find one or perhaps two quilts just waiting for someone to cuddle up to.


Yikes, now that I’ve actually thought about how many we have, I think I must be concerned that I or a family member might freeze to death.  And to avoid this most disturbing thought, I have quilts strategically placed throughout our home.  JJ


Sew, I must get going on embroidering on my customer’s Snuggies so they can go on to their new homes where I’m sure they will be loved and do their job of keeping their owners warm and comfy.

I must be in the “what and why” mood lately. I believe it is beneficial to keep your childlike wonder into adult-hood. This week as I’m meeting various folks, I have been looking a little more closely and asking myself what is their “craft.” I find that I relate better to people once I learn more about what their craft is and where they are in it. Sounds silly I know but it is true, honest – just try it for a week and see how you change your thoughts and actions toward others once you learn more about them and their craft.

My craft is broken into many pieces but the main part of me is that I have a creative soul. I create even when I’m not physically creating. I finish whole projects in my head before ever tackling it. And on difficult projects, I’ve been known to wake up from a dead sleep with a solution that I hadn’t discovered the day before. As a digitizer and embroiderer, objects and shapes are very important to me. I can’t just look at a logo without dissecting the parts and pieces…what hidden shapes do I recognize and what would be the best way to properly recreate the logo into thread. I’m also a helper by nature, which means that I want to educate and help all of my customers obtain the best and most professionally prepared embroidered logo that is humanly possible. Color is another thing all in itself and I react emotionally to color and texture, which is why I love so what I do because I get to combine all of the above into my work daily. It’s very motivating and I’m constantly learning and improving on my craft.

Unfortunately in today’s society, everyone wants to have anything and everything they’ve ever wanted and they want it NOW. In order to achieve this, many people and companies have taken to shortcuts. Don’t get me wrong, shortcuts may be necessary in some instances but if done repeatedly, everything suffers. Don’t believe me? Just look at how our financial system is doing right now. People wanted houses … companies wanted to give loans … other companies wanted to show profits … and on and on and now we are getting back to the basics and removing shortcuts so we as a country can get strong again.

To become good at my craft, it has taken mountains of patience, education, perseverance, practicing, and then accessing where I am and where I need to be before I start the process all over again and begin the next PEPPA Olympics. I find that if I don’t start right back in again shortly after becoming proficient in one area that like a gymnast, my muscles become cold and my skills can actually slide. Only through continual training can I stay focused and sharp.

So now that you know more about me and my craft, isn’t it easier relating to me as a person and business owner? Try it for yourself and please let me know what you learn either about yourself or another person/business.

Why and who do you do business with on a consistent basis? What value do you place on the people/businesses that you choose to do work with, and do you prefer to work with a company/person that has a local presence or are you just as happy dealing with a company via the internet that you don’t know?

I ask myself these questions all the time, and it helps keep me grounded and more attentive to how the market is growing and changing. I, personally, have always preferred to do business with people that I like and admire and who are local to my geographic area. And maybe it is a sign of my length on earth that helps spur me on to work as partners with other companies and individuals. You see, as one larger internet competitor likes to call me, I am an owner of a “very small business.” I chuckled when I read the first page of their web site where they actually put down all small businesses by asking the potential customer visiting their site whether they would actually trust a company that has only a few employees…. because oh my — they may not be in business the next time you call. I’ve outlasted many online embroidery companies in the past many years of business and we are growing each year. But what’s very exciting for me is that small businesses are being created at an all time high and the majority of them are started as home-based. With so many large companies laying off or going out of business altogether, it is encouraging to see that others are stepping outside the traditional description of work and doing something unique and true to the person. Is it hard? Extremely! Are there long hours? Never enough in a day! Is it fulfilling? More than any traditional job that I’ve ever had!

Now back to my original question…. What value do you place on the people/businesses you choose to do business with. For me it’s all about the people. I value the company/person who I can meet with face-to-face and who has knowledge of my business and me. I prefer building relationships and knowing that the person I’m working with is out for my best interest. I also want the company that I do business with to make money on my purchases. I want them to succeed, grow, and prosper, because without their growth and prosperity, my business will suffer too. We really are all interconnected and together we and our businesses can remain strong regardless of our current economy.