Feeling Crafty!

I recently “ran out” of my blog hosting services from when I switched over to WordPress (from my old Blogger blog). Meaning I paid a big fee to have it converted over which included a year or so of hosting. I am now paying monthly, and I HAVE GOT to start posting more to justify that money. With that being said, I vow to do better! School starts in a couple of weeks and this year I will have 4 mornings free (a few hours each morning) with the 5th morning having only 1 child at home, so I *think* I will have more free time (ha ha we know how that goes).

Last week was our last family vacation of the summer. We spent the week in Perdido, FL and for the most part spent some fun time with the whole Gulledge family (Jeff’s parents, sister and bro and their spouses and the kids’ cousins). It was so much fun! When I say “for the most part” I mean that we got a couple of days w/ Jeff’s bro and his new wife and several days with Jeff’s parents. We stayed the whole week. Here’s a pic of the kids on our last night. Mallory has on one of my favorite Applique Cafe designs ~ Loopy Flower. Garrison is about to start Kindergarten while Mallory will do Pre-K 4 and Browder is going in to 3rd grade (sob sob where did my babies go?)

 Here is what I have been doing the past couple of days. Wednesday afternoon I met my mom half way and she took all 3 kids for a few days so that Jeff & I could have a “break” (which translates to me monogramming for 2 days). Yesterday I was super lonely. Today Jeff & I met for lunch and then I ran several much-needed errands, which was nice to be able to do ALONE! Not to mention I treated myself to my last pedi of the summer. Anyway, these are super duper cute backpack laundry bags brought to me (graduation gifts) to monogram. My customer found these at Marshalls (try TJ Maxx?) and I think they were like $8.99/each. I know Bed Bath and Beyond sells them too but maybe only in black?

Drawstring at the top. I took these photos quickly before she came to pick them up yesterday so sorry they aren’t great.

Backpack ~ great for toting to the car to head home from college to wash all those clothes. I didn’t measure these but they were nice and big!

 I also monogrammed this long sleeve polo for my customer’s daughter. I have seen these a lot as bridesmaids gifts ~ the girls wear them on the day of the wedding (button down shirt is usually a plus). I have done several of these for the same customer for her daughters and I think they are cute! On a couple of them I monogrammed a very small block straight-across monogram on the top of the pocket (like a man would wear), but on this one she wanted the full circle swirly monogram (I used Monogram Wizard Plus “Master Circle” which is my favorite monogram font). Just an idea!

 Last night and today I have been monogramming 14 towels for my new sister in law. All the same font and 2 different colors so pretty easy, but time consuming! Luckily these are “set it and forget it” type items so I was able to multitask while they sewed.

This is Monogram Wizard Plus “Victor” font.

 I did have some trouble and I was so anxious to share this because I’ve seen this complaint a lot on one of the Facebook groups. You may have had this happen before? I did “FILL STITCH” on the towels and had trouble with some looping. After changing needles (literally replacing the needle), switching the thread to a different needle (on my 6 needle), cleaning my bobbin case AFTER changing my bobbin out and then doing a different color towel using different thread and having NO looping, I determined it was the spool of thread! I did a tension test and everything while trying to determine my problem.

 This is a 5000M spool of thread (a brand I use ALL THE TIME). I noticed that as it was coming off the spool it was twisting some, so I honestly think it was the thread. Today I went to a local quilt store and found an Isacord 1000M spool in the same color and finished the towels without a single loop. So….. if you have problems with looping, it MAY be your tension or any of the other issues I ruled out, OR, it may be the thread. Maybe it wasn’t wound on the spool correctly? I don’t know, but I’m going to try it again with regular appliques or satin stitch and see if it just doesn’t like fill stitch monograms.

 Now on to my crafty segment! I have been on Pinterest forever. I’ve tried a few recipes and spend hours upon hours each week just checking who’s pinned what without every DOING anything. We are going to Birmingham tomorrow (Jeff & I) to shop a little and have lunch with Jeff’s bro and his new bride (whom I monogrammed all the towels for). Several months ago I pinned a Christmas ornament made with a wedding invitation. SO… I stuck their wedding invite in my drawer and finally today made the trip to Hobby Lobby to get my supplies. I got 2 different size ornaments because I wasn’t sure which size I needed. After trying the bigger one, I went with the smaller one and everything fit great! I’ll keep the bigger one for some other project. With sale prices and coupons I spent less than $7. These look glass but feel more like acrylic. Also, I bought them individually but they did sell them by the box as well and also in a few different shapes (great for vinyl).

First I used my el cheapo Fiskars paper cutter I got from Walmart and cut the invitation in to strips as best I could, trying not to cut off any of the lettering.

I then wrapped each strip around my (Applique Cafe) pen, making it curl.

 I then just put each curled strip in to the ornament (the top pops off). I tried to place the strips with their name, etc where they would show. I put the top back on, attached the heart charm (the Pinterest photo used a sea shell) and then tied my ribbon on. I used 1/8″ navy organza ribbon for the hanger and 5/8″ navy organza ribbon for the bow. Their wedding color was navy, hence the navy ribbon. In the Pinterest photo she used white and cream ribbon. I honestly couldn’t remember while at Hobby Lobby whether the invitation was more white or cream, and then remembered NAVY was their color so I went with navy! Anyway, I thought this was a cute little personal gift and I hope they like it! Finally, all those hours on Pinterest paid off!

 As a follow up to my Mini Embroidery Design post, I have another technique to measuring your polo type shirts for mini or other designs. A blog reader emailed me her trick ~ she said she measures from the top seam of the arm down to the armpit seam. On my shirt it was a little over 6″. I then stuck a pin where the middle was and then measured from the button placket to there.

A pretty even 6″ so my initials or mini design would go where my pin is! This is a great “rule of thumb” for measuring and much more scientific than my post! Thanks for the tip!

I apologize for this post being all over the place! I guess a random post is better than no post! Have a great weekend!


  1. Holley Perkins says

    I have recently had some looping problems and never thought aboutit being the thread. I’m glad you mentioned that. Next time it happens, I will remember that. I have been doing lots of monograms on plain colored mens tshirts with pockets for a lot of teen girls in my area. They found the idea on pinterest and I’ve has about 10 girls bring me 3 shirts each! They have also been doing their initials on tank tops for swimsuit cover-ups. They have all turned out really cute. I also did the monogram on the pocket of the button downs for a bridal party…another pinterest idea! Thanks for the blog and all the tips. They are always so helpful!

    • Next time just watch the thread come off the spool. Mine was looping and twisting, so I THINK that was the issue. It’s the only thing I can come up with when the other spools worked fine!

  2. LOVE the ornament! It’s beautiful!

  3. I hope you keep up the blog. I love it! That ornament is just beautiful and I love the monogrammed button downs for bridesmaids! So cute!

  4. Loved the post! I am glad that you got that little pesky thread issue resolved. Sometimes……
    I do love the invitation ornament. So pretty.
    Thanks for blogging. It was a joy to read!

  5. Just wanted to check with you all and see how you charge for your monograms?

    • Usually $7 for a regular monogram, or $8 (like for the laundry bags – bigger fill stitch monogram). OR $9-10 if it’s a huge fill stitch name on a towel or something.

  6. Stephanie says


    Just curious, I’ve seen a few posts etc lately where yall have mentioned the joy of placement on polo shirts, etc. I found this lovely little guy, the Embroiderer’s Buddy and it works wonders! It has a range for all sizes!!! I added my own marks for childern’s sizes on it as well, based off of shirts my son had. Now my placements are the same each time! Love it! Hope it helps! tried attaching a pic, don’t think it came through… I’m sure there are MANY suppliers of this, my local brother dealer carries it in their store. They even actually carry a children’s size as well!!


  7. What size monograms did you use on the towels and how did you decide where to place them? I LOVE the blue/brown colors!

    • The monograms I did on the bath towels were 5.72″ x 5.21″ and hand towels were 4.13″ x 3.81″. It really depends on the font – some are wider and this particular font I used was a skinny taller font. As far as placement, I usually measure about 4″ up from the “line” in the towel and center the monogram there. On hand towels it was more like 3.5″ up – do you know what I am talking about? They usually have that line or border on the bottom and I measure up from that line! I’ll try to do a blog post! 🙂

  8. Please, Please keep the blog post coming … My parents bought me my first machine a year ago. When I started looking for help on the internet with appliques and such, I found your blog and have been reading it every since! Thanks so much for the tutorials, info on stabilizers, HNBL and other products you use! Our sewing center offered free classes with my machine but with a three year old under foot, it was hard to find a chance to take many!
    Now for another question, I got Masterworks II with my machine and I know I can buy monogram fonts to use in it, but I am wondering if Monogram Wizard Plus would be worth me investing in also? Thanks for any info you might offer!

    • Hi! I am really not familiar w/ Masterworks?? You might try MWP – they offer a free trial at needleheads.com and compare the 2?

  9. Hi! Just wanted to thank you so much! I started embroidery a year ago with a little brother I got on Amazon, loved it! I now have started an Embroidery business that is taking off after purchacing the Brother 650. Thank you for your AWESOME post, I have learned more from you than any other!! Have you ever been to any of the ISS shows and are they worth the time ??? Thanks again!

    • I have never been to ISS. Where are you located? There will be an Everything APplique Conference probably in February in Birmingham, AL. It’s great!