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September 20, 2010



I enjoy embroidery and get into it every once in awhile. I've always used one of my windows to trace the design. It can get a little much when the design is large or complicated but for the amount I do I wouldn't invest in a light table. Have fun Nicolle, hopefully I won't catch the bug again right now!

Kim Juilfs

I am confident your rusty embroidery skills will do just fine! I am cheap, so I use the window to transfer. Your patterns look very cute. Again, my cheapness comes into play--I purchase patterns very rarely. I find great free ones online, in coloring books, etc. Can't wait to see some finished products.


You'll do fine with basic skills, just jump right in. I have a small light box that I picked up at a craft store for just a few bucks that helps with design transfer. Using the Micron pigma pen in the color of your thread is also a good idea. I notice "Bird Brain Design" has them in her store. Happy Stitching!


I enjoy embroidery too, there are so many pretty colors of perle cotton and wonderful patterns out there. I found these gals when they were at the Road to California show a few years ago, when I got an interest in embroidery too. When it comes to getting my pattern on the fabric, I use this method: I have a light box but I still find it hard to trace the patterns onto thicker fabric. This works great for me. I usually buy mine by the roll off of Overstock.


Oh, I love Bird Brain Designs! I'm a fairly new convert to embroidery and I've been having so much fun with the tea towels, too. I love these small projects especially with the holidays right around the corner.

I've used two methods of transfer thus far; one is the window and the other is a little (about 6x9 inch), acyrlic light box that I use to use for stencils. It cost about $10 and I think I got it at Michael's or Joann's. Both methods work great! I also use a tiny micro pen that I couldn't live without now.

I learned mostly on my own but I have some great teachers in my local quilt shop, Thimblecreek, in Concord, CA. They have an amazing area within the store dedicated to embroidery. Through the staff there, I've learned some basic stitches, etc. They also have weekly drop-in classes and even an upcoming class (this Saturday, 9/25) on embroidered tea towels. You can certainly just plunge in on your own, too, but I think a class can always give you a few tips and tricks that you may not discover for awhile.

Oh, and Cosmo thread - love it! Really beautiful to work with and the colors - oh my!

There are so many resources online as well as really cool embroidery books now. Just wait until you see some of the Japanese Embroidery books - you will swoon!

Have fun Nicole!


My local quilt shop handles the transfer-eze and the women LOVE it. But,I'm pretty sure you don't iron it on. A beautiful and new varigated thread is Valdani brand too. You only need one strand of it. I've just started so don't have any advice.

Eileen C

Transfer-eze is wonderful! I purchased some a few weeks ago, and I love it!!! It is soo easy - all you need is a copy machine - you just run your paper copy through and print it out on the tranfer eze paper then peel it off and iron on to your fabric - no tracing involved - so quick and easy. I'm not affiliated with the company but I am a happy customer.

I love doing embroidery, it's so portable. I don't usually do towels, I just put them on muslin and frame them for a quick seasonal change in every room.

Have fun.

Eileen C

I just checked out Bird Brain blog and she has a tutorial on using the transfer-eze.


I have a good friend who puts a small lamp in her laundry basket and a sheet of plexiglass over the top. It works great for all sizes of transfers. The open holes in the laundry basket keep the lamp from getting too hot...

Kelly Ann

If you can get your hands on some 12wt Aurifil thread you'll be happy...embroidery is hot, hot, hot and I can't get enough...

Lisa D.

I use the Solvy method that Beth links to above. Wonderful method.

Robyn Brown

I love embroidery. You should check out the following designers, they're amazing:
Gail Pan
Anni Downs of Hatched and Patched
CrabApple Hill
Cinderberry Stitches
Rosalie Quinlan
Bronwyn Hayes - Red Brolly

If I think of more I'll be back. . .

Barbara Anne

Love the patterns and I still do embroidery that I learned as a child. I doubt you need classes but a teacher usually makes things easier to see.

I used embroidery stitches when doing red work on two pillow shams for my mother many years ago. I really enjoyed doing it.

We have a small light box, too, but I've also used a glass door we have!

Two companies I love are:
Lace Tales -

Crabapple Hill -

Enjoy the fun!


Robyn Brown

p.s. I use regular DMC thread, Weeks Dye Works or any of the crosstitching threads out there. I find that the perle cotton is too thick and knots too easily.

Ginny Worden

NO..........don't iron the Transfer -Eze, bad idea, believe me. It just sticks down and is wonderful to use. I also use a light box, and pigma pens to transfer designs.The smallest nib on a pigma pen, you're going to stitch over it. Have fun, embroidery is very relaxing.

Robyn Brown

oh and another pen I have found that I live better than the pigma for transferring is the Gelly Roll pen in light brown.

Sarah B.

I use a light table because my daughter has one and it's cheaper than buying the Transfer-Eze! I use a "disappearing ink" fabric pen or pencil or matching jelly roller pen to transfer the design. I love, love embroidery! It's so soothing after a hard day to sit in front of a movie or even a window and day dream while stitching... in fact you have motivated me for today to get some designs transferred so I can stitch tonight! Love!

Molly Nelson

I love embroidery too. I use a light box and pigma pen. One good embroidery site is this. She has iron-on transfers in great patterns.

For more traditional patterns there is :

Have fun!
Molly in Sumner, WA

Paula Peck

I LOVE embroidery! I'm just about to trace off the embroidery panels for the "To Grandmother's
House We Go" Quilt top, to work on in the evenings this fall. I just put the pattern on my sun room wall and trace away with a micron pigma pen!


I found Bird Brain Designs at the International Quilt Festival and bought a darling redwork pattern and perle cotton, but have yet to do anything with it. There is no local store that carries perle cotton in more than basic colors but I have lots of regular embroidery thread since I'm a cross stitcher from way back. My mom has a light box she bought for about $20 at Michael's or JoAnn's so I'll borrow that. Karen over at Sew Many Ways showed how to make a homemade lightbox a couple of months ago.
Have fun!


I've been in the mood for embroidery for awhile now. My attempt, Hocusupocusville, was too ambitious for a beginner, so I gave up. Maybe I need to start over, smaller. I would jump at the opportunity of a class, I need to look around and see if one is available in my neck of the woods. Good Luck!!

Susan Ramey Cleveland

I love to embroidery. And I love those towels. I have the pattern for the Hocuspocusville quilt. Hope to start it some day.


I have one really small project to embroider and I've been putting it off! I have so much quilting to do. When I go to the shows, and PIQS is coming up, I have to look away from the booths that have embroidery or punch needle or other crafts. I chant, "I don't need another hobby! I don't need another hobby!" Seriously, though, something small and portable would be nice to have to work on......


I started doing embroidery when I was about 10. My grandmother taught me, and I have wonderful memories of us doing it together. I've done dresser scarves, pillowcases, tablecloths - but haven't done it in years. It is great for a portable project, and the designs out there now are so fun. Good luck!

Rebecca Woods

Hi there. I am a window girl. It's a pain sometimes but that's what I do. Especially if you get inspired to do something at night like I often do and there is no sun. We now have a spotlight pointed at a window instead of the yard like it's meant to be :-) I love stitchery and have made a few. I always use a pencil to trace the design too. I have just started Hocuspocusville so that will keep me entertained for awhile. Good luck Nicole and enjoy yourself :-)

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