Machine Embroidery Designs – Build Your Own Style

In terms of decorating, whether it is your home or your person, I am a firm believer that less is always more. Too much of a good thing just spoils the whole endeavor! Unfortunately, I get hopped up on the power of the sewing or embroidery machine and stitch until my original project idea is barely recognizable. I know I should stop, but I just can’t seem to do so.

If the project is for the home, I quietly remove as much of the additional “décor” as I can before using it as intended. If I’m unable to salvage it, it becomes a new fixture in my sewing room to remind me not to do the same again. As for clothing items, they sit in my closet, never worn, looking beautiful and embarrassing. I would never actually wear them outside the house. From the looks of my fellow crafters at times, though, I don’t think all of them share my less is more philosophy.

Matching tees, totes, jackets, wallets, hats and more welcome me to any crafter’s venue I attend. Quilted fabric, machine embroidery designs on every available surface, appliqués and 3D objects adorning ladies who are happily unaware of how, well um, colorful they look. Actually, their happiness at their handiwork does give them a certain glow that is beautiful, so there is definitely something to be said about that! And, maybe they just have more confidence than I do. Maybe I just need better self-esteem in order to wear some of my own more, um, creative outfits.

While my own fiendish little heart refuses to allow me to follow them, there are some basic fashion guidelines that we should follow in order to look our best and not draw undue attention to make our kids squirm. When using a favorite embroidery design, it’s best to only stitch one or two motifs on a shirt or skirt; not both. The item not embroidery embellished can then match any color of the machine embroidery thread, adding versatility.

Just as one’s top and bottom pieces shouldn’t be matchy-matchy, it’s definitely a fashion faux paux to make matching jackets, totes, and more. One tends to look like a tourist, even in one’s own back yard. What I do like, is making a matching tote, wallet, makeup pouch and anything else that can be put into said tote. I don’t care what the fashion police say; some embroidery patterns just cry out to be made as identically as possible. Sometimes matchy-matchy is cute, especially when my embroidery supplies include several yards of fabric that I can’t find another use for.

On a recent visit to my favorite embroidery design gallery, I picked up a free embroidery design that I simply adore. I like it so much that I stitched it all over my comfy, faded chambray shirt. Once again, the embroidery imp just wouldn’t let me stop with the pocket and collar points! When I showed it to my friend, who dropped in just as I was about to cut the whole thing up for rags, she exclaimed that it was just the cutest thing she had ever seen. Can you guess what she’s getting for her birthday next month?

No, she’s not getting my shirt. Instead, I’ll make her one of her own. Then, I can wear mine at the same time. If my embroidery machine won’t stop me from stitching a hot mess, then I will just have to enlist my friends to wear my creations. There is safety in numbers after all.

Maybe I’ll even stitch us some matching hats.

Commercial Machine Embroidery designs!!!

During our four years here in Greece, I’ve has so many people get excited when they find out that I do machine embroidery. They always say they should have me create this or that project. In that time, only one of them actually did so, and I had to turn down the commission because the project was both against copyright laws, and would not have been a proper project to highlight my skills. Strangely, now that we are leaving for home in a couple of weeks and my embroidery supplies are packed up, everyone seems to want me to create something for them.

When it rains, it pours!

When I have to turn down every request, I get one of two responses. The first is a glad assurance that their project will just take a second. Really. The second is a knowing look followed with the sudden remembrance that moving is time consuming. Regardless of the response, I’m reminded of a good reason to move. None of these people have offered true neighborliness, instead asking me to do something for them when I have very little time for myself.

My friends and family at home aren’t much more helpful, but at least they understand how time-consuming a well-made embroidery project can be. My sisters-in-law understand that they can request projects all year long, but each and every project becomes their birthday or Christmas present for me. They understand that the time I spend on them is time I’m not using for myself or my own embroidery patterns. I wish everyone else was as understanding!

Being overseas, I don’t mind not doing projects for others. I have to get all of my embroidery supplies through online mail-order, so running out of the perfect color of machine embroidery thread half-way through a project was always a possibility. For my own projects, I could just switch to a similar thread, but this isn’t good practice when the project is for someone else.

This is another good reason to move home. Easy availability of embroidery supplies, quilt patterns, thread and more is very attractive. Revisiting my favorite fabric stores where I can actually feel the texture and see the colors almost has me wanting to jump on the plane tonight! I’ll have to be very, very careful of my budget in the next few months as the excitement of physical shopping might just overwhelm me!

If you haven’t already picked up on it, I am not really looking forward to leaving Greece. I knew we could only stay for 4-5 years, but the reality of it doesn’t mean I have to like it. When I get blue about our upcoming move, I start reminding myself of all the good things of the move. Donut shops. Sewing machine dealers. Fast food. Faster internet. Well, I’m sure you get the idea.

Something I’m very thankful for is all the embroidery digitizers who offer free embroidery designs! When I blow my budget on stabilizer, bobbins, new tools, and donuts, I know that there will always be fantastic free embroidery designs for me to discover. It may even put me in a charitable enough mood to create a project for someone else, also free of charge.

I like that!