6 Things I learned the hard way

I have been working hard on learning some new skills – mostly sewing – so that my embroidery can be even better. How are sewing and embroidery connected? The better you are at sewing, the better your finished embroidery designs will be – like quilt blocks and wall hangings to name a few.

I learned a few things the hard way this week – ok, well not that hard, but it did take up a lot of my time.


The first lesson was the ever evil monofilament “invisible” thread. Great for stitching in the ditch, but darn scary otherwise. I was sewing together a few pieces using a plain white thread and I left the invisible thread on the thread rack above the machine, as I always do because I was going to use it again shortly. That turned out to be a mistake!

I was stitching along and suddenly my machine stopped. No warning, no funny noises no indication that the machine was in peril. I looked at the threading, took out the bobbin and did the regular check ups, but the wheel was still stuck – totally stuck and unable to move. I got a flashlight and looked again. Nothing. So I called Don for a second opinion. He looked for a few minutes and then saw it – the clear invisible thread had gone through with the other thread that I was using, and was stuck somewhere in the machine. We took the cover off of the machine to look and wow, the clear thread was wrapped around an inside part at least a million times, and this was made more difficult because YOU CAN’T SEE THE THREAD. Don is the machine maintenance guy, so he knows what he was doing with the machine, and we took turns picking out tiny pieces of un-seeable thread. Oh what fun.


It is truly amazing what quilt designers can do with shapes, putting together shapes in different ways to make stunning designs and quilts. Throw in gorgeous colors and fussy cut fabric and you bring out the wow factor! I have been checking out some videos and I am absolutely amazed at how designs are put together – so clever and so much easier than I ever thought. It’s easy to make complicated-looking blocks that are pieced, and ready for embroidery – either designs or quilting embroidery. Here is a Dresden plate design made with jelly roll strips. Easy and fast to make, and oh so beautiful. I can’t wait to add the embroidered quilting!! *design credit goes to the Missouri Star quilting company – it’s a brilliant design and easier than it looks.

This is so pretty!!! I am so happy I could create it!!!


Well, this may seem simple to everyone, but I had an Accuquilt wedge shape and wanted to make the above Dresden circle. This goes back to high school geometry because it is all about the angles. The shapes look similar, but they have different angles – the wedge makes a straight line and the Dresden is tapered at the end so it forms a circle. I was so happy that I didn’t have to rotary cut anything! I happily tossed those jellyroll strips on the Accuquilt and cut them all. I realized my mistake as I was laying out the cut blocks and they didn’t go into a circle. Even though some quilters refer to the Dresden shape as a wedge, a wedge shape will not form a circle. Lesson learned – it’s all about ANGLES. I didn’t realize it was so complicated. After researching the Dresden plate rulers, I found out that they have different angles and sizes – so you have to make sure you have enough fabric to complete the 6, 10, or more to complete the circle.


Ya, it seriously is hard to learn. I need more practice, for sure. I watch the quilters easily swipe the rotary cutter through stacks of fabric so I assumed I could do the same thing. Ah, no, definitely not. Rotary cutting is a skill, learn it well because it will help your embroidery projects come to life (and the cut/sewing lines will be straight, not crooked 🙂 )


I am trying hard not to work in the evening by answering emails, doing more set up, research or ideas, as well as constantly looking at Facebook to get caught up on the Gang’s activities. I decided to research something fun and creative to sit, relax, and create in the evening. I remember that Accuquilt came out with 8 new dies for English paper piecing, so I started there. I did some more research and got out all the tools I would need and put them into a project bin. After some trial and error, I seriously wished that I had the Accuquilt dies for this project. The key is the cardstock paper shapes have to be perfect, or it won’t piece together well. It’s a hand stitching thing, so after I learned how to properly do the stitches, what order to attach the pieces, and how to remove the paper. I spent a couple of weeks practicing and trying different stitches and different methods. I love the final look, but I also love the design possibilities with more than one shape. The Accuquilt dies have 4 dies for paper and a matching 4 dies for the fabric, which is a huge time saver! I tried hand cutting the shapes. No. I tried the cutter. Also no. I tried tracing, printing, freezer paper (cool, but also no). For me, I purchased some pre-made paper cuts designed for English paper piecing. Works great, and takes the stress away and I get to just stitch and have fun.

So much to learn, but I love how it all turned out!


Yep. Stitch to straight line stitching and then do curves, save yourself the frustration. Just saying.

It’s been a hectic few weeks learning, making mistakes, practicing and learning some more. It feels good to be learning some new skills, and I can’t wait to get to the embroidery parts, too!

Have a stitching adventure and step outside the embroidery box and jump into the sewing box!

Happy stitching!



Busy, busy day today! So much embroidery fun going on!!!

IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN!! Anita Goodesign All Access, today at 4PM EST. Did you see the FANTASTIC All Access yearly digital sale that they have extended for another week? Give yourself the best Christmas gift ever and get all access for a year at the sale price!!!

I have never seen an All Access sale before – what a fantastic deal – you can’t go wrong at that price!!!

After that, we have a super fine time with Learn with Lynne!!

Tomorrow, we have a fun digitizing class where we are going to create a candy cane from shapes and make connections!!!!

OK, that’s it for now!

Happy Stitching!

Sue Brown

Embroidery Weekend Schedule

Are you ready for a weekend full of embroidery fun? On Saturday we will continue working on the Festive Faces embroidery quilt design from Sweet Pea. This week we are going to be stitching the Gingerbread man! Last week we stitched the tree and it turned out so cute!! Here is the link to the video. Live starts at 10AM EST, join the OML Gang for some stitching fun!!

On Sunday at 4PM EST we are going to do some embroidery experiments with the embroidered christmas cards from Anita Goodesign! We are going to try a different type of cardstock and some applique, and also add some embellishments to really make the cards awesome!

Here is the link for the video!


Are you ready for a new sew along from Sweet Pea? Click below and get the Festive Faces blocks and get ready to create something FUN! We will start this sew along on Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 10AM EST.

All of these design blocks are so cute, it is going to be difficult to pick the first one!!!

Pick out your fabric, get your designs from Sweet Pea and get ready to stitch on Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 10AM EST on the OML Embroidery youtube channel.


Tonight is Learn with Lynne at 5PM EST on the OML channel – and Lynne is going to be stitching out the November #dimedoor all by herself. Go Lynne, GO!


Sunset with Sue, Digitizing after dark. Let’s step into the world of satin stitches – how to make them properly, when to use them and so much more. Ready for some satin stitch drills? Let’s learn all we can about satin stitches! You don’t want to miss this!!!


Embroidered Holiday Cards. Have you ever tried this technique? You can embroider on cardstock and create your own embroidered cards for Christmas or any other holiday. These are beautiful designs!!

See you there!

Sue Brown

Learn with Lynne

If you havn’t been watching this series, catch up! Lynne is brand new to machine embroidery and knows nothing about it, other than watching OML Live! videos and learning with me on Sundays while we stitch out Anita Goodesign projects. She had so much fun, she decided to join in with her own machine!

Lynne has learned so much – she is fantastic at trimming applique and learning her new machine. Satin stitches are her favorite type of stitches because they cover up any trimming mistakes. In the Hoop is her thing, she loves her own creations!

Last weekend, Lynne took her embroidery machine home and joined in her first OML Live! sew along stitching out the pretty Halloween flower machine embroidery design!

She did a great job – looks great – but had some issues and then broke a needle. Join us for this video where we discuss what happened, change the needle and try to fix the design that is still in the hoop! Can we do all that??

Weekend Embroidery News

Saturday, October 10 at 10AM EST

Sunday, October 11 at 4PM EST.

There is lots going on for this weekend! In Canada this weekend is Thanksgiving! So happy thanksgiving to everyone who is celebrating!

Coming up on Saturday, we have a Stitch Along with Sue, featuring an awesome Halloween or Coffin Flower machine embroidery design. SEW much fun, and a great scrap buster, too!

On Sunday, October 11, 2020 at 4PM EST, we will be doing Part 2 of the Anita Goodesign Landscape Silhouettes quilt! Part 1 was simply gorgeous and fun to make!

See everyone there!!!

Sue Brown

Another week has gone by fast…now it is that time again! Sunset with Sue: Digitizing after dark – one hour of digitizing fun. This week we are going to be creating spider webs in every corner, nook and cranny – custom made with the running stitch and ready to add a spider! Of course no jump or trims included.

I didn’t think that the spider webs would take that long to do, so I added in a pumpkin too. The pumpkin is made from ovals, and copy and paste and then we are going to fix the nodes so it looks awesome!!

Join me for the fun! Be there or be square!!

Last week’s sew along was so much fun and I love how the in the hoop B turned out. I used bright fabric – oh, I LOVE the green and black diamonds for the top of the B!!)

The first O looks really cool in purple! I don’t have much in the way of purple – the right color of purple, so I will probably pick a different color combination – maybe even use a purple and black diamond pattern to compliment the B? I will figure it out for Saturday – maybe everyone watching can help me decide on the color scheme!

Join me for this fun sew along, nice and early for Halloween. It’s all finished in the hoop, all you need is a bit of ribbon to finish the design and hang it up. I think I might hang mine in my front bay window and then move it into my office after Halloween – just so I can make room for the Christmas designs that I will be stitching!!!

Where are you going to hang yours? Let me know in the comments!!

Sue B.

Did I scare you? Don’t be scared, it’s the name of the machine embroidery design that we are going to be stitching on Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 10AM on the OML Embroidery youtube channel!

This is a new and really cute design from Sweet Pea Machine Embroidery designs and I think it will be a lot of fun to stitch it out! This design is available in 3 different sizes – and yes, you get all 3 sizes when you purchase the design – from 5×7 to 7×10. Each letter has some cute designs and decorations and the whole design is completed in the hoop! Each design is going to have to be stitched separately, so we will start with the B and see how much time we have left.

Run! go get your bright halloween fabric and thread colors and get ready for Saturday’s Sew Along with Sue!

It’s that time of the week again! Time to get ready for another fun Sunset with Sue learn to digitize with Perfect Embroidery pro machine embroidery software by dime (Designs in Machine Embroidery).

The catch? we are only using shapes, no clipart allowed! You will be surprised at how easy it is to create your own one of a kind embroidery designs!

Here is the video link. The classes are every Wednesday at 2PM EST and are on the OML Embroidery youtube channel for you to watch and learn at your own pace!

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