WEDNESDAY WEBSITE CRUSH – Amazing Designs

 Amazing Designs  is a very versatile machine embroidery resource. They are owned by Tacony Coporation, the mother company of Baby Lock, Madeira, and Koala Studios, so you know their name is reputable. Their high-quality designs are worthy of the family name. Their meta tag touts of having 11,000 embroidery designs.  That is a lot of designs from which to choose.

Amazing Design's Bazooples Collection and Baby Lock's built in font

Amazing Design's Bazooples Collection and Baby Lock's built in font

Amazing Designs has an artistic flair with their anthropomorphism that I just love.  

Amazing Design's Tiny Tailor Collection

Amazing Design's Tiny Tailor Collection

Their little animals all dressed in the cutest clothes and doing human activities are so adorable. 

Amazing Design's Tiny Tailor Collection

Amazing Design's Tiny Tailor Collection

My absolute favorite is their Tiny Tailors Collection by Janet Wecker-Frisch. If I were not afraid of embarrassing my family, I would wear these designs on everything, but as it turns out, I only have a cleaning jumper that I embroidered them on. Even then, I get the, “Seriously, Mom!”

Amazing Design's Tiny Tailor Collection

Amazing Design's Tiny Tailor Collection

For those of us who love coloring (so glad that is such the rave these days!), you will love many of their designs, as many of their designs are outlined in black.  I am so drawn to them (pun intended). I think the outlining makes them pop, but these are the kind of designs that you really have to make sure that it is hooped tightly or the outline will shift even so slightly.

Amazing Design's Bazooples Collection

Amazing Design's Bazooples Collection

As you would expect they have pages for tips and techniques, projects and lots of other resources. There are several links, so surf around, you will find lots of treasures.

They have a page of freebies that can be downloaded monthly.  Do you have a list of websites that you can click on to download their free designs monthly? I am in the process of developing such a list that I will share publicly, and would love to add your favorite, quality developers to the list.

Amazing Design's Tiny Tailor Collection

Amazing Design's Tiny Tailor Collection

While I have fun writing about quality machine embroidery websites regularly, I must admit that I do not have much will power, and wind up finding a collection or two to purchase when I am gathering the links for this blog. This week I noticed that Amazing Designs was having a great sale under the “Specials” category on so many of the designs I had on my wish list.

So many designs, so little time! Happy stitching!

Wednesday Website Crush - Adorable Ideas

John Deer is the driving force behind the website Adorable Ideas and technically, Ultimate Stash is the website that offers the machine embroidery designs.  Adorable Ideas is the parent company that also owns Digitizing Made Easy, for which John Deer is really known. To make it even more confusing, do not type in “John Deer machine embroidery” into google or your hits will come back with lots of tractor designs. You probably noticed this, but John Deer does not spell his name the same as the tractor company John Deere.

Ultimate Stash Design Aspm051

Ultimate Stash Design Aspm051

John Deer is a third generation embroiderer.  His family began designing Schiffli lace on looms around 1910 and has passed down that skill to John Deer. [Digitizing Made Easy by John Deer, 2007] What an incredible heritage. 

On the top bar of their website is the Learning Center that includes: Classroom, Inspiration, and Tutorials. All three of these sections will keep you busy learning for a long time.  Personally, I love seeing the exquisite gowns made with the Schiffli lace.

Close up  Ultimate Stash  Design Aspm051

Close up Ultimate Stash Design Aspm051

The designs on the Ultimate Stash website are a very high quality. You can tell that it comes from many years of experience, but it is most evident when you click on the lace designs. They are gorgeous.  This is really authentic Schiffli lace that is available to every home embroiderer.  Before my husband bought me my embroidery machine, I never dreamed that I would have the ability to create such beautiful, authentic lace.  It has been such a joy to me to find this site.

Close up  Ultimate Stash  Design Aiml015

Close up Ultimate Stash Design Aiml015

My favorite purchases are from his “Vintage Lace Project Series” hosted by Janet Carley.  These lace projects are so elegant. You learn professional methods of using the lace designs on projects. I am not sure if they are still available as I could not find them on the website any longer.  I now wish I had purchased all of them. 

The website does have many designs that are not lace oriented.  They have a free design for you to try. In addition to regular designs, they specialize in “Sparkle Designs;” and they offer kits as well to accompany the designs.

This bride and groom lace motif is just lovely and makes a wonderful wedding card or can be added to even an anniversary gift.  

Ultimate Stash  Design Mesa043

Ultimate Stash Design Mesa043

Have fun machine embroidering and I hope you enjoy the Adorable Ideas website. 

Wednesday Website Crush – Sue Box Creations

Lace is incredible to make on an embroidery machine. It is so gorgeous and so easy to sew.  It uses a technique called free-standing, which basically means that the design does not need it to be embroidered onto fabric.  It is embroidered on a stabilizer that is water-soluble.  It washes away and only the threads remain.  The digitizing for free-standing lace is a different technique than for regular designs. Each thread must connect to another thread and they must build upon each in order for the threads to not separate when washed.  This technique is difficult to master and it is where you can tell a novice from a master.

"Just Lace" machine embroidery design by  Sue Box Creations

"Just Lace" machine embroidery design by Sue Box Creations

Sue Box Creations is a website from Australia that specializes in beautiful laces and exquisite designs. She offers a variety of free-standing laces that can be made into doilies and hankies, as well as traditional galloons.

"Just Lace" machine embroidery design by  Sue Box Creations

"Just Lace" machine embroidery design by Sue Box Creations

While galloon laces are traditionally sewn free-standing and then sewn along the edge of a garment, they can be sewn directly onto the garment.  This is especially useful when it is a child’s garment that will used for every day use or as in this case a blue jean garment that is used around the house for every day chores and gardening.  It withstands a lot of abuse and has held up over the years because the lace was sewn directly onto the front of the jumper. This way it cannot snag or get caught on anything while I am working.

"Just Lace" machine embroidery design by  Sue Box Creations

"Just Lace" machine embroidery design by Sue Box Creations

In my mind, there is nothing like her 3-D swan. It is so awesome and so impressive to give as a gift. People will not believe that it is all thread. We have made several of these swans that take many hours and lots of thread to complete, but they are worth every bit.  The picture below is from their website as we did not keep any for ourselves and did not take a picture before we gave them away.  Of course, I will have to fix that soon. As you can tell, they are just as much fun to give-away as they are to keep.

"3D Lace Swan" machine embroidery design and image by  Sue Box Creations

"3D Lace Swan" machine embroidery design and image by Sue Box Creations

As with great machine embroidery digitizers, she has free downloads. There are currently thirteen free designs that show off her talents and one template. I personally just love the detail of the dragonfly.

If you love 3-D lace or are just curious on how it works, she has a free lace motif that when sewn together creates a lovely 3-D bowl. It takes 6 of the triangles to make one bowl.  You sew them together by hand or with the sewing machine. She has instructions with the download.

Free "Lace Gift" machine embroidery design by  Sue Box Creations

Free "Lace Gift" machine embroidery design by Sue Box Creations

Make sure that you sign up for their newsletter as they offer complete CD’s with free shipping for half off, free designs, $1 and $2 designs, and many other wonderful offers. Hope you enjoy these designs as much as I do. 

Wednesday Website Crush – Martha Pullen Company

Martha Pullen Company is known for many wonderful things in the sewing world.  I think heirloom sewing and Martha Pullen's former magazine, Sew Beautiful, would be first in most people’s minds, but they are equally known for their exquisite machine embroidery designs. 

They have two ways to purchase machine embroidery designs.  The first is the standard way of searching for a design on their website and downloading it or having it sent to you in the mail, but they also have an incredible embroidery club. 

The embroidery club has an abundance of gorgeous designs for a set price. At $69 a year, it is a wonderful deal.  In the years past, you received at least two alphabets, a total of nine sets of designs to start the membership, and then at least two designs each month.  The design sets have included exquisite christening gown designs, smocking in-the-hoop, Christmas ornaments, baby booties with matching bonnets, and so many other designs. 

In addition to their designs, Martha Pullen Company offers videos and classes on how to machine embroider.

My all time favorite design from Martha Pullen Company is their free-standing lace nativity ornaments.  They are just beautiful and stitch out so precisely. I just love making and giving them every year as gifts. In case you are looking for them, they are still available in their 2013 collection.

While you are at it, if you are not familiar with heirloom techniques, you may want to add them to your repertoire. Martha Pullen is the originator of French hand sewing techniques on the sewing machine. 

Wednesday Website Crush - Zundt Designs

Machine embroiders have the unique ability to create one of a kind projects, but they also have to ability to have access to quality embroidery designs that are only available to the elite of the fashion industry. Zundt Designs is one of those high-end embroidery designers, which also has a long legacy with the historic embroideries of St. Gallen, Switzerland.

Zundt Designs is known for their exquisite lace. They have every kind of lace your can think of such as motifs, corners, jewelry, ornaments, 3-dimensional, and of course, the traditional galloon.

The typical machine embroidery design is always realistic and highly detailed. They range from animals to children designs, but their precision flourishes in their vast flower collection.

Zundt has a unique project section entitled “Adorations.” It showcases their gorgeous designs in projects. Each project has designs and design workbooks that fully explain the projects and demonstrate how to use lace like the professionals. These projects encompass a vast breadth of areas from garments and quilts to window treatments and tablecloths.

As to be expected, the alphabets designed by Zundt are impeccable and follow the lines of elaborate historical fonts. Any one of them would make a monogram that would impress even the hardest to please.

To allow machine embroiders to test their superb designs, they currently offer three designs for free – a beautiful rose bud, a lace bow, and a free-standing lace ornament.  All three are just wonderful and are a delicious taste of their other elegant designs.  Hope you have fun trying them. 

Wednesday Website Crush – Embroidery Library

What is the one thing you would want on a deserted island?

Ask ten people that question and you will get ten answers. 

"Desert Island" Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

"Desert Island" Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Honestly, how can you ever answer that question. Just thinking about it can boggle your mind.

Well, in my fantasy world, my deserted island has running water, electricity, and of course, an embroidery machine under a palm tree. (Did you see it all in the photo?) What more could I ask for? Unlimited blanks and designs!

Embroidery Library, Inc. would be one design supplier that would be able to keep me happy on my deserted island. With over 100,000 quality embroidery designs, how could I ever run out? Can you imagine how many designs that is! In a hundred year period, I would have to embroider over 2 designs a day just to use them all.  Now granted, not all of those are unique designs.  Some are just size differences, but even if you take that margin off, it still leaves you with a lot of designs.

These designs seem to fill most of my needs when I am thinking of a project.  They seem to have every style imaginable: filled, watercolor, red work, black work, sashiko, trapunto, embossed, free-standing lace, applique, in-the-hoop, etc. Personally, I cannot think of a category in which they do not have an embroidery design.

While their designs are of the highest quality and they offer so many, you would think that would be the end of it. However, they far exceed our expectations as they are also an educational website.  Do you need to know how to embroider on velvet, paper, or that ever so popular toilet paper? They have it all explained in their “Projects” section. 

The “Projects” section has a wealth of information.  Think of a project and it is there with a complete description of how to complete the project with the appropriate types of fabric that work well with the specific designs, the best stabilizer, threads and needles.

The “Fabric 101” section is my favorite.  I have never needed to buy expensive embroidery books or take classes because this website was right at my fingertips.  It is books and classes on machine embroidery all wrapped up in one nice spot.

As to be expected of their professionalism, they have a weekly newsletter that highlights their latest additions to the library and includes the wonderful weekly sales.

The best part is that every month they offer free designs, which is from their normal library of designs.  They are not simple or watered-down designs, but actual designs that are normally for sale.

Now the question almost as hard as the deserted island question, “What is your favorite design from Embroidery Library, Inc.?”

Wednesday Website Crush

Welcome to Website Crush Wednesday – a new series for machine embroiderers.  This week is just an introduction to the future series because the first website is a biggie.  It has such a wealth of information that it will take a very long blog post to cover.

Each week (hopefully) a new machine embroidery website will be featured. There are so many great websites out there and so many that need to be discovered.  Probably in the beginning you will be quite familiar with the websites, but for those of you who are new, maybe not.

To be honest, I will only review a website that I have personally tested one of their designs. This is to make sure that the designs themselves are high quality, which is a topic for another blog post. The website must have a good reputation and sell original designs.  Initially, I will focus on freestanding shops that produce their own designs in house.

Is there a website that you go to regularly or on special occasions, please let me know about it. I would love your recommendations. Maybe you are a shop owner and would like to be featured.  I am open to your recommendations also, but I will make a disclaimer that I was contacted for review.

All the commentary will be my own and there is no compensation involved. I would love to know your comments as well.  

The best part is that eventually I will publish a list of all the websites reviewed and you can use it to click on or to remind yourself when you are looking for a particular design.

So until next week, happy embroidering!