Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Another year is almost complete

And another Christmas is just behind us. I hope that each and every one had a wonderful Christmas, filled with love and hope.

Since Christmas is now past, I can post a couple of pictures of a project that I undertook for the Holidays. They say that the 'third time's the charm', well it must ring true for me. My third attempt, I was finally able to complete a tablecloth.

Along with the tablecloth, napkins were embroidered to attempt to compliment the beautiful design on the tablecloth.

Together I think that they look good.

I can say that I have the remains of attempt number 1 on my dining room table at the moment. The hoop had fallen off when I was stitching either the 4th or 5th design on the second side. Being very rushed for time, I did not have the luxury of picking out 19000 stitches to continue on. I used the 'goof' on my table with the bad side where it could not be seen. Thanks to my wonderful husband, those stitches are now completely removed and I can finish so that I will have a tablecloth just like my sisters.

Monday, December 14, 2009


WOW is all that I can say for the moment.

It seems like if you tell someone that you do embroidery, that they want to place an order. Good news for me.

I just hope that I can get everything completed and delivered as quickly as possible. I have a huge project that I am working on at the moment, and cannot stop this process as shipping must be accounted in for the delivery.

The local orders can wait, and should not take long to produce.

Hopefully, pictures will be forthcoming soon.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Where has time gone

It seems like just yesterday that my new life started, although I know that it has been about a month. I seriously question where time has gone so quickly. I have been busy, yet happy.

I did a craft fair the weekend before Thanksgiving, as well as one on Dec 5th. All in all, I think things went well with both of them. I sold items, and I took a few orders. Tonight, I got a surprise call with a lady from the show before Thanksgiving, giving me an order that she wants filled before Christmas. Looking at what I currently have to do, I believe that I will be able to squeeze it in.

That being said, there is a bit of sadness that I must express. My wonderful sister had requested an embroidered tablecloth as her Christmas gift. I was determined to give her a tablecloth that she would be proud to display in her new home. After 13 hours of solid stitching, I had the major OOPS.... The bottom of the hoop came off. I stopped the machine within a few seconds, but the damage had been done.

So, at the current point in time, I am just a couple hours into recreating the beauty for the table for my sister. I just wish that I could see the expression on her face when she opens the box. Maybe I'll be able to get someone that will be there to take pictures so that I can see her expression.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

WHAT a day

So, last Tuesday evening, my husband and I needed to run to WalMart for something quick. I can't remember what it was right now, I just know that it wasn't much. After we finished there, we went across the street to the HyVee (local grocery chain) to buy some groceries. Anyway, on the way in the door, I saw that the high school where my son attends was having their 'annual' craft fair this weekend (Nov 21st). I thought to myself "Hey self... I'll give em a call to see if by chance I can get in and do a show..."

Well, I got a call back on Wednesday evening saying that it was full but if there were any no-shows that they would call me. Thursday evening was another call saying that they were full. I had started on Wednesday making things just in case. I did do even a few things on Friday, thinking that I might try to catch a show in a couple of weeks if at all possible since this one was full.

Well... low and behold I get a call at 7:30 am on the 21st saying that they had room to fit me in. YIKES! I knew that the show opened at 9:00, but was told it would be okay if I was late. YIKES!!!! I flew out of bed and started the coffee while I started up the embroidery machine. I knew I could get a couple more things done before I walked out the door. I managed to get 2 more rolls of TP embroidered and one kitchen tea towel.

Shower and then eat while I was getting dressed and drying the hair. I didn't have much stock, but I was determined I was gonna sell. This apparently is a fairly large craft fair for a school, as there were about 150 booths set up. There were a few thousand people.

I had a BALL today. The TP was the HOT ticket item. As soon as I got my little table set up, a lady came over and purchased 3 rolls. YIKES!!! She purchased a full THIRD of the TP that I had. The others sold as well. Why didn't I have more?
I sold lace ornaments and tea towels. I have a couple of orders that I am working on to fill right now. WOW... what a day.

It all came about so quickly that I didn't have time to take pictures. I will next time for sure.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tomorrow is the day

The big day for me. WOW. It's kind of like when my husband was getting to retire from the Navy and it was XX days and a wake up.

All I have now is the wake up.

I am excited beyond belief. I must admit, I am a tad bit scared. I am so full of ideas.


I simply cannot wait until next week. WOW!

Can you tell that I am EXCITED?

Friday, November 6, 2009

And the name is.....

After much discussion and research, the name has been selected. Thread Treasures Embroidery.

The amount of work which must occur in such short order is almost over powering. I am taking the approach of baby steps. Well, the first MAJOR step has been taken. Now it is just baby steps.

Breathe just breathe.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Contemplating a name change

So, Saturday evening should be a time of relaxation, especially since my vacation days were winding down. I was still stoked from the Sewing Expo, and the fact that I had talked my wonderful husband to attend the vendor floor with me on Saturday. He became excited as well, and was wishing that we could snap pictures of the various booths to give him ideas.

Anyway, as we came home we began discussing the business. Serious discussions. He is not sold on Thread Treasures as a name for the business. We knocked heads until at least 1:30 in the morning coming up with ideas for a name. Every outstanding idea that we had only pointed us to at least one business somewhere with the name. I want my/our business to have a unique name. We now have the list down to four serious possibilities. Heck, I even embroidered one on a shirt to see how it would look. (Yes I know, jumping the gun just a little bit...) We have to stew on this naming thing for a bit. I however am chomping at the bit to get started. To me, every day that is not doing business is a day wasted.

My husband came up with an invention that solved an issue of mine.... Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sewing and Quilting Expo 2009 has come and gone

And boy am I beat! I'm still trying to recover, but have to return to work tomorrow.

I had a wonderful surprise when I hit the vendor floor, as Thread Guy was there. When I had checked and rechecked the vendors, he was not listed. I am so happy that he was there again this year. I did get my Marathon Thread fix. They have some new metallic threads, which I just had to have. One was the huge 5000M cone, and is the white pearl iridescent. The others were iridescent as well, but the white pearl has always been a favorite color of mine. Don't you know I spent the first bit of this morning stitching out a freestanding snowflake of it? Sorry for the bad scan, but hopefully you can tell which one is with the metallic thread.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Table Runner

Well, I finally broke down to stitch something for the house that will be used. I purchased a clearance table runner at WalMart as a test to see how a specific design would stitch out on something for the home. My husband picked the color, and was more than satisfied with the results. I will purchase, or make, a better quality runner as I do plan to keep this as an item on my formal dining room table.

Name on Stocking

Due to the fantastic price of the patches, I was told that they would spread my name far and wide for embroidery. True to word, I got a call on Tuesday after delivering the patches on Thursday about doing a name on a special Christmas Stocking. I received the stocking on Friday, and embroidered the name that evening. The name looks a tad crooked, but depending on where you measure from it is straight (as measured from the top of the stocking).


I had an order for some patches from a local Aikido school. I had never made patches before, but they were in a serious need as they had a huge seminar the following weekend. People from about 6 different states were in town to attend the seminar, and they needed patches. I went home and produced a sample of what I thought I could produce. The patch was accepted and we came to an agreement on price. Less than a week later, I provided the patches and now have a client that will continue to come to me for their patches. Best part, they have sister schools in various states which now know the quality of my work. I did not keep a picture of a final patch, as I did not have enough time to take pictures after they were completed, but here is one of the sample which I provided.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Babies are so cute

I love babies. I'm not sure if it is due to age, and thoughts about being a grandmother. I have years to go before I am an actual grandmother, but I still have grandmotherly feelings for babies.

Anyway, one of my coworkers has a new son. His wife and son are doing wonderfully. I did embroidery a few items for them.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Another one bites the dust

And another one done and another one done... another one bites the dust. Yes! I have finally finished another quilt top. I've had the bits and pieces spread out on my cutting table for what seems like forever. It was to the point that I couldn't dump more fabric onto the table. I am so bad. I was afraid if I had a cutting table that I would use it as a general dumping ground for my sewing room. On Sunday, after I got more fabric and didn't have a place to dump it, I thought I better clean it up. Now, the table is clear of fabric except for the remainder of fabrics that I had used for the quilt top. I have room to actually cut out something. Of course the closet that had held my quilting cottons is overflowing onto the floor, but that will wait until another time to attempt to organize.

With Labor Day weekend approaching, I am trying to set some specific goals for myself as to what I think I can realistically accomplish sewing wise over the three day weekend. Since I will be on call, I won't be traveling this weekend. My son would rather keep himself occupied than hang out with the old mom. That should leave me some quality sewing time. I want to sew 1 jacket. I will be happy with that, and even proud if I accomplish more than the one jacket. But my goal is 1 jacket.

Of course I have goals for housework as well, but I won't let that drag me down. I will be doing some embroidery as well as I have quite a bit that I need to get done.

Sorry, no pictures to post today, but my husband has the camera currently.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Starting a business - is the time right?

I had purchased my PR620 with dreams of starting a business. While this dream has not faded, and I utilize this time to further my education, I must question the timing of starting a business now.

My dream was to open up a small venture to offer up my embroidery designs, as well as do custom embroidery work. The ultimate goal was to use this new business as a way to earn money so that I could retire from my 24x7 'normal' work duties.

I have spent the last couple of years developing designs that I want to offer to sell, but realize that digitizing designs for retail is ever changing and evolving. I have been in a continual learning experience since this realization and have been spending my scarce free time with learning all that I can on my new focus in life. Additionally, I plan to offer up services to actually stitch out custom designs such as corporate items. I have secured my first client in New York City, and will go above and beyond to insure that they remain happy with the delivered end product. Client satisfaction is the ultimate goal of my venture.

Right now, I am at a cross roads so to speak. The economy isn't anywhere near what it was a year ago, and personally I do not see any glimmer of hope in the immediate future to the return of what it once was. (Another topic for a possible different blog all together...) Anyways, I have spent the past few years developing the initial offerings of embroidery designs for the home embroider. Today, I look at sites which I had previously purchased from, only to find that they are now offering lay-away for designs. I cannot imaging having to do a lay-away on a 15.00 design set. Please realize that I know that this hobby is expensive, but I personally feel that I should save my money internally to be able to afford a purchase of a design pack (which is NOT that expensive) than to signal that I need to purchase the items on lay-away.

Currently, I find myself at the cross roads of what to do.... Should I throw caution to the wind and go ahead with my venture... or should I continue to develop my offerings to a time when I feel that the economy will allow me to offer my goods and services as I had originally intended? The answers I must do some deep soul searching.

Who knows at the current time? I have my first client, and will work to fulfill the orders that they place.

Realize that these are rambling from a person that is thinking of leaving the secure world to delve into the possibility of what if's. I'm thinking of striking out on my own, but just questioning the timing of it all. Ultimate decision is mine... but dang it is a very hard decision to make.

Educational Opportunities

The educational opportunities are great for the next couple of months. I will be attending a Digitizing Retreat here in Kansas City by John Deer which was organized by Missouri Sewing Machine Company.

I am looking forward to the two day event and will try to soak in as much knowledge as possible during those days. Hopefully my fingers will be working correctly and I will be able to take blazing fast notes of everything he has to say.

Then, October brings the Sewing and Quilting Expo here to Kansas City. This will be my third year to attend. I plan on taking more classes than I have in the past years. Right now, I'm planning on taking 9 possibly 10 or 11 classes. The shopping at this event is wonderful, and allows me the opportunity to purchase things that I don't normally find in my usual haunts around town.

See ya there!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Quilting on an embroidery machine

Well, I had put together another lap quilt top that was sort of based on the Stack-N-Whack, except it is a 4 piece block, and every other block was a solid color. Just a way to try to see if I could cut the fabric close enough to possibly attempt a stack-n-whack. For the most part, the cutting out of the actual fabric turned out pretty good. My attempts to cut my blocks the exact same size was another failure.

But the actual quilting that I did on the PR620 turned out pretty good. I will need to play around with templates and learn how to get the designs closer together, but overall for my first attempt, I am fairly happy.

Overall, I am happy with this little lap quilt. Just bindings remain and I will have another one completed to donate. Oh yeah, this was my first attempt at using the basting spray to attach the pieces to one another for the quilting process. Not sure if I am going to give up my pins yet or not, but I do believe that the results which I received make the quilt look more used instead of being a fresh brand new quilt.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Having some time on my hands

and determined that today I would finish a little lap quilt I had started months ago. The embroidered blocks I had stitched out a few months ago, and are from Ace Points. I had purchased the solid moss green, with the coordinating strip fabric and didn't quite know what I was going to make out of them, but I knew I loved the colors. Looking at some of my embroidery designs, I determined that I would just stitch out this Ace Points set (AP 564 - Dainty Rose Quilt) and go from there.

Well, the blocks sat for months due to work. On Wednesday of this past week, I managed to get the stripped fabric cut and the top pieced together. Thursday night I had a few minutes to find a backing. After pinning everything together and getting it 'quilted', I took it up to Hancocks to find the binding that I wanted to use. I couldn't determine if I wanted the pink, green, or cream. I selected the pink and think it finishes off the quilt quite nicely. Anyway, here it is...

Little Girl's lap quilt

Little Girl's lap quilt

Thursday, May 28, 2009

One Proud Mom

Yeah, I'm one proud Mom right now.

If you want to read the entire story, you can go to to read in all the shining glory.

But, on Memorial Day weekend, my son competed in the first ever organized and sponsored bowling tournament for high school teams in the state of Missouri. The Northmen of Oak Park came home as the state's 1st CHAMPIONS!

Not bad for a group of kids that love to bowl that put together a club for school about 6-8 weeks ago. Who knew that they would get a chance to even compete at state, let alone WIN STATE! All of this, and the school would not even recognize them and allow them to acutally use "Oak Park" in their name. So while the web site has them as Oak Park Northmen, they went there as Northmen of oak park.

Hats off to Gladstone Bowl for being such a great facility with a love for the kids and the sport!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

One step closer

Well, after having some discussions with the wonderful manager of the Bernina shop close to my house, I made the executive decision to go with either the Brother PR620 or the Bablylock equivalent.

I called down to one of the larger Bernina sewing centers that happened to have a PR600ii on the floor and a PR620 in a box. Those ladies really were trying hard to sell me the PR600ii, but since it is 'end of life' considering future upgrades, we said that we'd take the PR620. [Note: I believe it is at end of life, but am not 100% sure of that fact!] Anyways, I paid as my wonderful husband loaded it up.

Of course the ladies were tickled pink, because that is only the 2nd 'big' embroidery machine that had been sold out of the store. Of course I told them that if they got any commission that they had to share with the other manager as it was her that got me down there in the first place.

We got it home about 7pm and got it out of the van. Carefully it was unpacked and we carried it up 2 full flights of stairs to get it to what is the room of it's final resting place. Due to other family activities in the day, it had been predetermined that we would go out for dinner. So, I had to leave my new baby to go out to eat. In my eyes, everyone was eating so slow.....

Finally we made it back home and my husband and I spent the next couple of hours determining where it would reside in the room and getting everything set up. The moment of truth comes, and we finally stitch out a test design. I managed to get 3 designs stitched out, including a Zundt, before I went to have sweet dreams of a beautiful new machine.

I have been playing since I got up this morning and am having a blast. I'm learning how to hoop socks on the cylinder hoop. I have been playing around learning how to change which needle I want to sew what color.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I feel like the old ABC Wide World of Sports

and the agony of defeat. (Yes I am aging myself...)

Looks like the Brother 9 needle will not happen after all. The lady changed her mind about selling her industrial brother machines to buy a 4 head machine. She is now just going to go the route of buying 2 additional single head machines.

So, for the night, I will cry into my wine as I listen to Rob Zombie.

I swear, with the machines that we have looked at, and the oh-sew-closes... it is almost like the stars are telling me to NOT go down the path of the venture that I so want to explore.

Edited to add: My wonderful husband, realizing my dreams, is saying to just go out and buy a brand new Barudan. YIKES!!! OMG OMG OMG... The costs associated with a machine like this, not knowing if a business will come to fruition.... ... His comment was that I would have one kicking home embroidery machine if it didn't work out. Gotta love him. Yep, he's a keeper.... :D

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Buying a machine....

I mean... who knew how hard it would be to buy a machine. Geeze... it is getting to the point that I'd almost rather have a root canal performed WHILE in labor. You'd think that in this economy, people would be jumping up and down to take my money... right? RIGHT? !?!?!?

So far, it seems like everyone wants to talk the good talk, but when it comes to pony up to the table they stand there looking at their shoes. Of course sometimes I wonder if they are wondering if they removed the sock lint from between their toes recently or not... ...

But I currently am in the market for a commercial embroidery machine. At first, I want to buy a really REALLY good used one, just so that I don't invest 20K into something that I am not sure that I am going to like. I had a line on a Barudan, but it wouldn't do all it was advertised to do, maybe from lack of maintenance or age... I don't know. The let down started with that machine, because I know that Barudan's are supposed to be really great machines. Of course there may be an age limit on the technology and if it is still a good machine or not. I suppose almost 2 decades old is a little... well... old.

I was thinking along the lines of the Brother PR620 or the Babylock equivalent. My husband wasn't so excited about those for a couple of reasons, hoop size and the ability to stand up over time. I suppose he thinks that I'm going to have like a million clients within 30 seconds of opening or something... LOL But the PR620 and Babylocks just didn't have the hoop size that I was really after, so basically I am left with going a full blown commercial. You'd think that they'd be licking their lips to sell me something... right? Geeze, talk about your used car salesman, but I guess they don't realize that I'm not the sucker that was born today. But, right now the selection is looking like a Brother BE 901. With any luck, I will have the machine set up and stitching by this weekend. I feel like I will have a learning curve ahead of me and will need plenty of time to practice. Husband has scouted a couple of machines, and I believe that the ultimate decision is mine. I will be going on a quick road trip early Saturday morning to test the machine out. Hopefully my new toy will come home with me.

I was discussing a digitizing design with a client the other night, and a couple of different people overheard the conversation. Before you know it, my husband is basically taking orders for items that they want. YIKES!!! Guess it is getting very close to being official. Am I scared yet???

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Thread Treasures

Welcome to Thread Treasures

Thread Treasures was born out of a love for machine embroidery.

Until my husband purchased my first embroidery machine, my sewing had been limited to fashion, with a couple of quilts thrown in the mix.

Now, I spend hours stitching out designs and have ventured into creating my own designs.

Here is a lap quilt which was made from my embroidery designs.