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Embroidery Week: Adding a Personal Touch to Hand-Crafted or Store-Bought Projects

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Embroidery adds an extra dimension to home decor projects. Literally. The raised stitches give a 3-D boost to flat fabric. The rich thread provides a pop of color and a dazzling sheen. Admit it. Embroidery is cool. If embroidery was a person, it would be Johnny Depp - flamboyant and scene stealing; but in a suave, charming, and fashionably dapper way.

You can do embroidery by hand, like a lonely Arthurian maiden locked in the tower of an old Errol Flynn movie. But, it you don't have that kind of time, you need an embroidery machine! Today's machines are extremely easy to use and have a wide variety of amazing functions from basic embroidery-only models to the highest-end sewing and embroidery machines that connect to the Internet and make espresso (okay ... I made up that last part, but what they do is still quite amazing).

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During Embroidery Week ...

We'll be taking a closer look at the available machines and accessories, including the wide variety of hoops that make machine embroidery possible. We'll also review the many ways (paid and free) you can get embroidery designs to stitch out. You'll also see how we updated an existing Sew4Home project with a dash of embroidery. And, there's a fun project for elegant Thanksgiving napkins that blends appliqué and embroidery.

One of the great things about embroidery is it works equally well on hand-crafted or store-bought items. To help you gather creative steam, take a stroll through our Inspiration Gallery below, and start dreaming about all the projects you could do with an embroidery machine (and Johnny Depp) by your side.

Towels turned terrific

As we showed you during Monogram Week, plush bath towels are great for embroidery. You can use the embroidery to pick up room colors, extend a theme or promote a favorite pastime.

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Kitchen knockouts

There are hundreds of wonderfully whimsical embroidery designs just perfect for kitchen accessories. I love the tea party towels below; they make me smile just looking at them. And can you believe the detail in those designs?

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Lovely linens

Embroidered linens are always a beautiful embellishment to a table setting. The tone-on-tone table runner shown below incorporates a Janome exclusive feature on the Memory Craft 11000 Special Edition that allows you to build customized embroidery designs with decorative stitches.

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Play up your pillows

Add a little or add a lot. The humble toss pillow offers the perfect ‘blank canvas' for embroidery. Notice the alternate thread colors for the design used in the first photo; a different thread palette yields a whole different look.

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One pattern three ways

Here's one simple basket liner embroidered three different ways for three completely unique looks: a child's toy organizer, the perfect baby gift basket, and a cozy kitchen bread basket.

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Embroidery squared – quilts and wall hangings

The artists who incorporate embroidery into their quilt designs are truly amazing. Each square is a little story all its own. Here's the secret: you can do it too! Many manufacturers offer ways to take the guesswork out of placement and design. Our Signature Sponsor, Janome offers two exclusive features you'll want to see for yourself: the Clothsetter for perfect placement and the AcuFil™Quilting System, which lets you stitch out embroidered quilting designs right in the hoop.

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Comments (5)

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
Hi debe - I don't have 'official' instructions for the items shown above - they were meant only to get the creative juices flowing. Some we found, some photos were graciously lent to us for posting by our Signature Sponsor, Janome America. Their website, www.janome.com does have a project section:


You might be able to browse about in there and find something.
debe said:
debe's picture
I was wondering if you had an addresses where we could get the instructions to some of the ideas shown. I really like the first quilt. I know some of the ideas are on the Janome website or were in the Janome Digest. Thanks for any other info.
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
Hi GailB - Janome is our Signature Sponsor. I will forward your question to their Customer Relations department, as those kind of machine-specific technical questions are beyond me smilies/shocked.gif. You can reach them directly as well through the www.janome.com website. Hope that helps!
GailB said:
GailB's picture
I notice you advertise the Janome 1100. I have a Janome MC9500. I didn't get a chance to take lessons for my Embroidery machine because of Chemo treatments.

I've been getting free downloads of embroideries. Do I need to have my pc connected
to the embroidery machine when I download the embroideries? I also have a PC Card
Adapter. Can I download the embroideries to the Adapter and insert into embroidery