Those of us who machine embroider regularly are usually a little obsessed with it. I know I constantly look at things and think, "Can I duplicate that?' "Can I monogram on that?" Then there is the ultimate challenge - men!
We love the men in our lives and our machine embroidery is an expression of our love, so we naturally want to gift our men with our embroidery.
Embroidering for husbands is a challenge, but they love us so dearly that they will usually just smile and say, "Thank you, dear." But try embroidering for the young 20-something men. I have six adult sons (well, one is still a mature teen) and I am constantly asking, "Can I make this for you?" Only to be disappointed again with the response, "No, Mom. Men don't do embroidery."
One of my sons travels regularly, so when I saw this cute - oops - handsome collapsible tray for in-the-hoop projects, I just knew I had to try one. Now how to make it manly. A manly design in the center should do the trick. The project that I purchased had four options - channels, grid, maze, and stipple. The channels were very manly with a khaki fabric and black thread when I gave it as a Christmas gift to a young professional man, but I wanted my son to have something that was uniquely him and a monogram was out - not his style. In college he was in the equestrian club and his favorite horse is a Friesian.
My search for the Friesian horse design started at my favorite website for downloadable designs Embroidery Library. Unbelievable! It was there. They are the best.
The actual in-the-hoop tray was digitized by Zippy DesignZ. It stitched up just great and had no problem with substituting the design for the center part that quilted it together.
The best part of this project was that my son actually loved it and uses it when he travels. Success! Love expressed tangibly!