Embroidery Software and Fabric

Happy Thursday Friday! Sometimes it takes me a day or two to get a post up…  I am so excited to post about a “new” product I am now selling on the website!! No, not all of the cute and simple applique designs even though I AM excited about selling those too. I am now selling the wonderful, affordable, not really new, but easy-to-use embroidery software I have been recommending to anyone who asks or will listen for the past several years. SEW WHAT-PRO!

What do I use it for? Mainly I use it for merging a name or initials with an applique design. An example is below. I formatted the name “andrew” in Monogram Wizard Plus (font is Kazoo). I save it to my computer. I open SWP and OPEN the new fish design and then MERGE in the saved name. I then arrange it all and center the whole design and then put it on my machine to sew! There is a lot more you can do with SWP, but that’s my main use for it.

ALSO, I use it even when I’m just sewing an applique design with NO NAME. I like to *SEE* what I am sewing on my computer screen, so I open all of my files in SWP so I can see them. You can click on the thread chart on the right and see which step is next! You can also use SWP to delete parts of a design. A lot of people also use it to merge bought embroidery fonts together. When you buy embroidery fonts on the internet (NOT using a monogram software such as Monogram Wiz Plus), each letter is it’s own file, so you have to merge the letters together to form a name or initials. SWP can do that!

Please check it out on my website (Sew What-Pro) if you are looking for software such as this! It’s only $65 and it’s the best $65 I’ve ever spent. There is more info on the listing and also a manual you can download to look over.


I had several people ask me where this Footprint design came from from a previous post. I did this design on some burp cloths for a local ministry so the design was sent to me. Thank you to my blog reader who reported where the design can be found! It looks like it’s part of a set, but maybe you could email the website and just get this design? You can find it HERE. (ps designs are a little pricey compared to American sites?)

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Now on to FABRIC! Last weekend the fam traveled to Destin, FL for a soccer tournament for my middle child. We normally take a route which leads us through Troy (AL), around Elba and someway here and there we end up at the beach. Well, there was road construction somewhere near Elba and we ended up NOT going the way we had planned. When I realized we were heading towards Opp, AL, I got excited b/c TJ’s Fabrics is in Opp! I had not been through there in a long time and was overwhelmed by all of the beautiful fabric that has now taken over the store! Last time I was there 1/2 the store was fabric and 1/2 was gifts and drug store type items. This time, fabric was everywhere!! Everything is arranged by colors and chevrons and I could have spent all day there had the kids and hubs not been waiting in the car. Lucky for you, they have an awesome website so if you aren’t in Alabama or traveling through the area, you can order online. If you ARE traveling to the beach (Destin, Panama City Beach, Seagrove/Seaside, etc) then DETOUR!! Plug it in the GPS and stop by, and tell TJ I said “HI”!! 🙂

My selfie for 2014! I will let the pictures speak for themselves…..

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See what I mean? This is just HALF of the store! They also have a studio room (right side of photo) where they do classes and quilting and all that. Oh, you can still get a prescription filled there too! 😉

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I’ll take one of each….

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Chevron for days…..

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Here’s what I left with! I can NEVER have enough polka dots! These are Michael Miller “Kiss Dots”. I may have kissed them…

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Sissy with some other pretties!

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Fat quarter bundles ready for you to grab and go!

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More chevrons….

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These are Susybee Bunny Dashes & Carrots. Easter is a little over a month away!

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Our Jellyfish 2 design! I believe they are also sewing and doing appliques & monogramming for customers!

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Michael Miller Diddly Dot Primary! So cute!!

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They also have gobs of blanks!

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More pretty colors…

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I’ve had my eye on these since I saw them on Facebook! These are Riley Blake, Summer Breeze.

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Again, if you are traveling to Florida this summer and coming anywhere near South Alabama, stop by!

I hope to get a more detailed post up soon on Sew What-Pro and how I use it! It’s been a busy week so stay tuned…

One last thing, because there is nothing more disheartening to post something and get no love!!


Happy May!

Happy Tuesday, April 30th! I’m not going to start out this post by apologizing for not posting lately. That’s getting old. I’m busy and you’re busy blah blah blah. For some reason I loaded my pictures for this post, and they are all backwards, so bare with me. Yesterday I had a small panic attack when I filled in our calendar in our office for May. The picture you see here is not even accurate, as I added several things after I took the picture. School is ending (eeek!!!), boys are both playing soccer (rec league and travel for 1 of them), the Everything Applique Conference is coming in in like 2 weeks (and today is the last day to register), etc. Anxiety is setting in and I’m not sure how I’m going to survive the month. Did I mention that it’s also my husband’s birthday + Garrison’s birthday + Browder’s birthday + our triplet nieces and nephew’s birthday + our 12 year anniversary, all in May? AAAccckkkkkkk!!!


Here are a few things I’ve been up to lately when I haven’t been stressing over the calendar. Sissy had a birthday party to go to this past weekend and they have a pool, so I had in mind to find a cute towel to monogram. I have to say, I was disappointed in the beach towel selections at Target and Walmart. I found this cutie at Kohls! I was also at TJMaxx yesterday and they had some cute ones too. Hopefully Target and Wally World will do better next year. I used Monogram Wizard Plus “Specs” font for her name. What a bright and cheerful towel!


Here’s an Old Navy dress I did recently, and I think you can get these for dirt cheap. They are perfectly BLANK, so you can easily jazz it up with a monogram or applique design. I used our Flip Flop Trio design and some bright fabrics and it turned out cute! I love the blue on the pink, and this pink is brighter and more “highlighted” than it looks. My kids call fluorescent “highlighted”. I think I used MWP “Penpal” for this font.


In my last post, I discussed No Show Mesh cutaway stabilizer. I STILL love my medium cutaway, but I did some tees recently and used the no show mesh b/c this particular tee was thin. Some tees are thicker than others so this is a great option for those that are not as thick (where medium cutaway might really show through). Again, my pictures are backwards so this is a shot of the t-shirt after I un-hooped. I used a little spray adhesive to “stick” the no show cutaway to the back of my shirt. This time I ironed some iron on tearaway on the back of that (rather than “floating” it underneath the hoop), so I had 2 layers of stabilizer hooped with the shirt.


As you can see here, I hooped all 3 layers (tshirt, no show mesh and tearaway) together.


Actually 4 layers b/c I used a layer of solvy on top. So on the back of the t-shirt – 1 layer no show mesh, 1 layer of iron on tearaway and on the top, solvy. I’ve gotten to where I am using solvy more and more on top of t-shirts, mostly when I am doing monogramming. If the shirt is a little thin, then it helps the shirt not to gather in the monogram (like on the ends of the letters). When I’m done, I remove the solvy and tearaway and then trim the no show mesh around the monogram. This is MWP “Pendant” font.


We listed this Bug Jar Applique Design on Monday, which was featured on a t-shirt in Sew Beautiful magazine in their May/June 2013 issue. There is a fabulous article on TJ’s Fabrics in the issue, and I was lucky enough to sew a t-shirt with this design on it for one of the cute little models to wear!

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It’s always fun to see your name in print!


Here is the cute shirt which was made to match the cargo shorts made by TJ’s using their Michael Miller  Baby Bug Jar fabrics.


If you subscribe to Sew Beautiful or see it in your local fabric store, pick up a copy! It’s a great article! The outfits they featured are gorgeous!! TJ’s is located in Opp, AL, so don’t forget to plan accordingly if you are traveling to the beach this summer!!


We just got back from a Dream Disney little vacation. The boys have been to Disney once, but Mallory had never been. We decided to try a Disney Cruise this year, but hit Magic Kingdom for the day on our way down. If you are going on a Disney Cruise, let me know. I wrote a book on it (not really) when we got back for some friends who are heading that way in a couple of weeks. It really was MAGICAL!! The cruise was massive and amazing and we will definitely go again! Here are just a few pics ~ I will spare you of the 253 I uploaded from my camera.

This was right before we left the park. War Eagle! I hope the people on the left figured out their phone settings…


Here is the “Sail Away” party on the ship the evening we left the Port. Yes, there were like 4,000 people there. I think the recommended pool capacity was exceeded. This is the Disney Dream ship which comes and goes from Port Canaveral in Florida. It has an awesome tube slide called the “Aquaduck” that goes literally off the side of the ship, and then around it.


Here we are riding the Aquaduck. We rode it many many times (as many as the kids could talk us in to).


We met Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and all of the other Disney characters and Princesses (several times). I was fascinated by the characters as much as the kids were!


Chip & Dale got on the elevator with us one day.


The kids got to play basketball with Goofy!


It was so much fun! We HIGHLY recommend it! Again, if you are planning a Disney cruise and want to read my tips and suggestions, let me know!


All designs at Applique Cafe are on sale through May 7th, and we are listing 3 more new designs today or tomorrow! Have a great week!

Spring Fabric

Happy post-Easter (and post-Spring Break for us)!! It feels like I was JUST picking out school supplies, and here we are past Easter with 7 or so weeks away from school being out for SUMMER. Of course today I have on jeans, rain boots and 2 long sleeve layers up top b/c it’s 54 degrees and dreary outside. Doesn’t feel like spring, but it’ll be here before we know it (and I will be complaining because I’m sweating to death). I heard via Facebook recently that someone who’s “work” I admire used a different kind of stabilizer than I use for t-shirts. I have heard of this stabilizer before but I really didn’t know what it was like or if I would like it. So, I decided to order me some and try it out. I used it for the first time yesterday and I liked it, but the verdict is still out. It’s Lightweight Cutaway No Show Mesh from Sewingmachine.com. It’s hard to tell from their photo what it looks like, so here is another pic for you…


It turns out I had something LIKE this that I’ve used before, mostly on sweatshirts. The friend who recommended this also said she “floats” a piece of tearaway underneath which I forgot to do, but I still got good results. Here is a pic of it on the inside of my shirt. I used it like I use any cutaway and “stuck” it to the shirt with my Sulky KK2000 temporary spray adhesive before I get it hooped.


Here is the finished shirt, and it looks like any other applique I have done. I will say… the brown gingham dog fabric was a little “bubblier” than I find when using my medium cutaway, but I was able to squirt some water on it with my iron and iron it really well and the Heat N Bond Lite worked and it turned out just fine. So… not sure I am making a drastic switch over to this new cutaway, but I did like it and will try it again (and try floating tearaway underneath for a little added support). I think the idea of this “no show mesh” is that it’s a lot thinner than medium cutaway so it doesn’t “show” on the shirt, which I don’t have a problem with. Some people say you can see the stabilizer around the design, but I’ve been using it for years and have never had anyone complain nor has it ever bothered me. But, if that is something that concerns you then you might give this a try!


The moral of the story… try new things! You have to figure out what works best for you! Just because I use and love medium cutaway (which I am completely out of BTW…) doesn’t mean you have to! I have a whole roll of this no show mesh, so I will try it some more for sure!

I always LOOOOVVVEEEEEE…. opening a box from my doorstep from TJ’s Fabrics! A funny side story… when we got home around 2:20 from all the running around and carpools, we noticed the doorbell was ringing. It kept ringing, and ringing, and ringing. I ran to the front door to see who was there, and all I found was the TJ’s package! Evidently the mail-person left it for me and rang the doorbell. The doorbell got stuck and rang and rang and rang until we got home! Good thing we don’t have a dog or else it might have gone crazy!!

Now on to fabric… I saw these “mini” chevrons the other day on TJ’s Facebook page and knew I had to have some! I always tell people that in applique, you are dealing with such tiny spaces so small prints are GREAT! The top left one looks PERFECT for patriotic designs. Top right – great spring colors – lime, turq., yellow, orange. The bottom one is a few shades of pink and lime/green. LOVE LOVE LOVE!! Great job Timeless Treasures!! These are “mini chevron stripe”.


Love these 2 together ~ Timeless Treasures Small Geometric Multi on the right. Fun colors for summer!


Here are some new Riley Blake chevrons in some great new colors! A-D-O-R-E the lime green. Top left is purple, then orange, lime, blue and baby pink. I really like this lime and blue color!


These 2 look great together too!


More chevrons ~ these are also Riley Blake. The top left one would be great for Auburn fans! This group is called “One for the Boys” and I love all of the colors!


I think if I didn’t get to designs appliques, I would love to design fabric!! All of these make me want to sew something! How about you? Check them all out at TJ’s Fabrics!