Wednesday, December 21, 2011

BES Embroidery Lettering 2 Free Lessons

Hello Everyone,
I hope you are all well and are mostly ready for the upcoming holiday celebrations.  This is a little note to let you know that I have uploaded the first of the BES® Embroidery Lettering  2 lessons.  These will supplement the Lettering's Sew Easy Workbook.  There will be more coming, but I felt I should get these up before the holidays.  Below is the direct link to the lessons.

Wishing you all the best during the Holiday Season,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Allbrands PE-DESIGN NEXT seminar

I just had the pleasure of spending 2 days with a great group of people in Baton Rouge!  It warms my heart that you all wanted more before we finished day 1.  I hope you have all been practicing a bit in between getting ready for the holiday season.  I am sorry for the delay in the post.  I left you and went straight to New Jersey for a meeting that has just finished.  I also apologize for forgetting to take pictures.  I definitely had a brain blurb on that one.

I will think more about what to cover in our next class.  Ann has already contacted me about coming back next spring.  Get ready and if there is something you would like to have covered, shoot me an email and I will see if I can work it in.  Any and all ideas are welcome.  I am thinking along the lines of Creating stitches to enhance your embroidery, using the font creator, shading designs, perhaps advanced applique.  The list seems to be endless and will take a lot of thought to narrow things down. 

As my year of travel and teaching comes to an end, I wish you all the best and am very thankful that I have been able to share my knowledge as I made my way around the country this year.  I have been blessed to meet wonderful people in every location! 

I hope all of you and your families remain healthy and happy in the coming year.

Many Blessing to you all,

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Knowing in Sewing

The Knowing in Sewing November 2011 has been emailed.  If you did not receive your copy, you need to check the email address that you signed up with and check to see if it is in your junk mail folder.  I had several emails bounce back to me tonight.
If you didn't receive it and would like me to forward it to you, I will be happy to do so.  Send me an email to requesting the November newsletter.

Thank you,
Cindy Hogan

Thanksgiving and The Knowing in Sewing November 2011

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!  I have to admit, I totally checked out of my business for the past week.  I spent the week enjoying my family after arriving home from Woodbridge, VA.  My Dad came up from Florida, my oldest Tennessee niece was in from College and my Aunt from Baton Rouge.  Therefore, we just did the family thing!  We had great fun making pies, stuffing, and as my nieces say Cranberry crap (cranberry relish).  It is actually my mother in laws recipe that the girls just love.  They have been making it with me at Thanksgiving and Christmas since we moved back to TN.  I remember when we first moved here it was a bit challenging to cook with the girls (they needed a lot of help).  Now we kind of just let them have the use of the kitchen tools and they pretty much do it all.  This year, we did teach how to make a pie crust and roll it out.

The girls also talked me into the dreaded Black Friday shopping.  I can't believe I stood out in the cold to get into Target.  The time did fly as Molly and I waited.  However, it was lots of fun watching them shop and find those bargains.  They had the attack plan worked out from looking at the adds.  Thank goodness the shopping started at 10pm instead of 4 am.

I bought an Aero bed for visitors since the bed I had my dad sleeping on collapsed on him the night before (I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall while that happened) and he was having to use the couch.   However, after getting home and examining the box it is probably going back as it is looks like it will be too low to the ground.  Turns out it wasn't as good of a deal as it looked at 1 in the morning :).

Meanwhile, I have been working on the newsletter and it should be going out in the next hour or so.

Enjoy and Create something just for fun this week!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Color matching

I was doing a Photo Stitch and software presentation today and Daniel asked about how to convert a pattern to his color palette of Madeira thread.  I immediately thought of the different thread conversion programs.  However, when I returned to my hotel, I realized that those of us with BES Lettering or BES Lettering 2 already had a built in thread conversion program.  June Mellinger and I were just discussing color matching last week in Memphis and it slipped my mind this afternoon.  If you were in class today, the fish finally returned to the front of the tank.  (By the way it was the Cumberland River.)

This may be the tip of the Month for November, but just consider this a your sneak peak.... 

How to set up color matching for your threads (Brother, Floriani, Madeira, etc.).... from the Thread pull down menu, choose your thread chart this looks like a little tick tack toe board.  Go to the View Tab.  Click on the Preference icon.  Place a checkmark in front of Color Match on loading.  When you OPEN a design (Not MERGE), the design will open with the colors from your thread chart instead of the colors the design was digitized with.  You can then print out the color pages.  You do not have to add lettering unless you desire. 

Thread Chart pulldown
Thread Palette Selection
Preferences Window

Design Open and Colors Matched


Saturday, November 12, 2011 Event

I have had the pleasure of visiting and teaching a wonderful group of people in West Point, GA at for the past 2 days.  You all were a wonderful group to spend time with.  I hope you left the event feeling it was worth your time.  I know it was an intense 2 days for all of you.  I encourage you to go home and play with the software so that you remember what you learned.  I forgot again to take pictures, but Steve took one yesterday.
Have a wonderful rest of the weekend.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sew Special Studio Seminar

I have to give a big I'm sorry....You ladies kept me so busy that I totally forgot to take any pictures :).  You  thoroughly picked my brain dry!  I hope you all left having found out something you didn't know about the software that you really wanted to know.  It was a very enjoyable 2 days.  You all were a lot of fun.  I am so sorry about the pictures.  Just call it an early "Senior" moment on my part.
Remember to send me an email after Thanksgiving about the instructions you wanted.  Otherwise, that will totally leave my mind as well.

I am sitting in the hotel in Bartlett, TN, trying to catch up.  This is the last post for the night.  Be sure to PLAY with your software and create something you want!

Sew Unique Sewing Center Event

Raleigh, NC. is a beautiful place to visit in the fall.  I really enjoyed my time there with all of you and hope you found the seminar informative.  It would have been better had I not caught the crud on my way there, I do hope none of you were infected by me.  Be sure to practice what you learned! 
Below are the pictures from the event.


Benton Sewing Day 3

I apologize for the tardiness of this post as well as the next few to follow.  When I left Benton on Thursday, I came down with an illness and haven't really caught up with posting since then.
Day 3 at Benton was a lot of fun.  I hope you all left feeling your time was well spent.  We learned about the digitizing tools in Design Center and Layout and Editing.
Below are pictures from day 3.

Enjoy and Create something for yourself or someone you love today!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Benton Sewing Day 2

Today at our seminar in Benton, Ark. we held two different classes.  The first one was on editing and the second on Photo Stitch.  I do hope you all went away from the seminar having learned a few new tips and tricks to help you with the software.  I don't know if I ever saw anyone so excited about one of the best kept secrets of the software - the Design Database!  Below are a few pictures from today.  I am sorry, but I did forget to take pictures from the first class......

Have fun creating something today,

apron and feet

As most of you know, I have been heard to say "I don't sew".  I should ammend that statement.  I am very capable of sewing, as a matter of fact, I learned to sew from my Grandmother (Nana).  I remember the first thing I created was a skirt made of zippers at the ripe old age of about 4 or 5.  I can't say it was the prettiest of items.  As a matter of fact my dad made me take it off and put on my real clothes before going out in public, but it was fun.  My Nana had quite the zipper collection and I had most of them in my skirt.  My first year of teaching school, the only way I had a new item to wear was to sew it.  Having said that, I just don't enjoy sewing clothing.  I much prefer sewing projects, like bags or crafty items.  I do wish my Nana had been able to see my first embroidery machine.  She would have loved it!  She would absolutely not believe what the Quattro is capable of creating. 

A couple of weeks ago before I went to Peoria, I created an apron using a purchased kitchen apron from Wally World.

Next it was off to the embellishment.  I created a really cute Halloween design using the PE-DESIGN NEXT software and the BES Embroidery Lettering Program.  The lettering is using the Cherub font in the BES Embroidery Lettering software.  The broom is one I created using a piece of purchased clipart from Graphics Factory.

After I embroidered the design, I decided the apron needed a bit something else.

 I removed all the straps first and went off to find fabric to match the embroidery. If you have met me, you know I am not the tallest of people. Short in stature was probably created by my side of the family. So I had to cut about 4 inches off the bottom of the apron. While I was at it, I rounded off the corners of the bottom of the apron.

I sewed together new straps for the apron that would cross on the back instead of going around my neck.  I don't like aprons that hang around my neck, they tend to start hurting.  Next I decided to add a ruffle around the bottom of the apron.  I went out and purchased the ruffler foot for the Quattro (it also works on other Brother machines) and cut three 6 inch strips of fabric.  I sewed the three strips together and then folded them to make 1 long strip that was 3 by about 132.  Having never really created a ruffle, I wasn't exactly sure how much fabric I would need.  So I decided to err on the side of caution (better to have too much than not enough).  I set the ruffle depth 6 to 1 kick per 12 stitches.  This was too much fun and oh so easy!

Next to sew on the ruffle.  I pined the ruffle to the bottom of the apron and stitch it on with a straight stitch.  After stitching the ruffle on,  I could have pulled out the serger (or I could have serged the ruffle on, but once again I decided to try something new.  I pulled out the side cutter foot for the Quattro and  used an overcast stitch to the right side of the ruffle.  This worked great!  If you haven't tried it out, it works nicely and gives a pretty finish to the back side of the garment.  Yes, my serger would have been quicker, but I didn't have it out and it didn't have black thread on it at the time.  Exploring the different feet for the machine was a great experience.

I then put the J foot back on the machine and top stitched the ruffle.

Below is the finished project.  Jennifer from Benton Sewing was kind enough to model it for me.  Thanks Jennifer!

I have to say this was a fun project.  I really enjoyed using the different feet!

Have fun creating something this week!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tsunami Project

Hello again,
Today I received an email from Brother about a project that they are sponsoring.  As I am sure you all know, Japan had a major disaster this year and the children and families are still struggling to put their lives back together.  Brother has a goal to collect school bags for the children made from a pattern that takes approximately 45 minutes to complete.  The bags will be collected and distributed to the children affected by the disaster.  Follow the link below for the Dream 1000 project information and instructions on how to construct the bags and where to send them.  I know the children will greatly appreciate any and all efforts.  It is after all the "little things" that make a difference.  All bags should be shipped by December 8, 2011.  The shipping info is on the link as well. 
Let's see if we can't all create a smile for a child in the near future!

Create something beautiful or just plain fun today!

Benton Sewing Day 1

Hi All,
I am currently in Benton, Arkansas teaching at Benton Sewing Center (Johnston's Home Center).  I just love visiting with Billie Jo and her customers.  Today, we held a software overview: showed all the new software products and spent the afternoon learning BES® software.
You ladies were a great group to spend time with.  Below are a couple of pictures from today.  It is the end of the day and everyone is still smiling!

Friday, October 21, 2011

More pictures from Galesburg Sewing in Peoria

Vicky sent me some more pictures from this past weekend.  Enjoy!

Becky, evidently didn't want her picture
taken.    She was having fun, promise!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Galesburg Sewing - Peoria, IL

As promised, pictures from the Galesburg Sewing Event are below.  I enjoyed meeting and instructing all of you and  hope you enjoyed the class and found it informative.  Have fun creating and embroidering the projects!  Please feel free to post comments on the blog.  I do want it to be interactive.  That is one of the reasons I moved it to this site.
If you have pictures you would like to share, send them to me and I will post them.

Create something beautiful or just plain fun today!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


The Knowing in Sewing Newsletter went out last night.  If you did not receive it via email, your email either blocked the delivery or you signed up with the incorrect email address.  If you did not recieve it and wish to do so, send me an email and I will forward you the current newsletter.  You can then go to the website and sign up for the next edition.  There is another small video lesson for this newsletter.  I hope you enjoy!

Friday, October 14, 2011


The last couple of weeks have been very busy around here.  I have traveled to Pittsburg, PA. and Peoria, IL. and met some wonderful new people and saw some old friends.  As always I enjoyed sharing knowledge with you.  Below are some pics from the Pittsburg event.  I will post pictures of the Galesburg event if I remember to take some tomorrow.  I have a hard time remembering to take pictures.  We had a great day of fun today making checkbook and notepad covers.

Create something beautiful or just plain fun today,

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bag bottom

A viewer asked what I used to support the bottom of the bag.  I used Timtex to give the bottom of the bag structure.  I used Decor bond to give the side panels a little body as well.  Finished bag dimensions 12L x 12H x 4W  when the flap is folded over.

Bag is finally finished

I started working on this project over a month ago.  It was just one I wanted to do for myself as a kind of creativity kick start.  I don't know about you, but for me, always creating for a specific purpose can suck the fun out of embroidery and every now and then I have to do something just because.  When I started this, I had no idea of where I would end up.  I just new I wanted to create some fabric with a new technique and different threads.

So the first thing I did was create the fabric.  I sewed together 2 different colors of fabric in 6 1/2 inch blocks.  I made 2 layers that alternated.
Next I created the spiral embroidery in the PE-DESIGN Next software.  Beneath the embroidery, I ran a running stitch so that I could cut away the centers of the circles and squares.  Now I was off to the embroidery machine.  To stitch the circle and square spirals.  I decided to use some new thread that my local dealer (MidSouth Sewing) had, Wonderfil Spaghetti (12 wt Egyptian Cotton) thread in the color of the square that would peek through.  To the right is a picture of the fabric that was created.
Now I had to decide what to do with the fabric.  That took a while.  I never like to rush when I am creating, I just kind of let it flow, therefore, the fabric hung on my shelf while I mulled it over for a couple of weeks.  It had started out as a tote bag, but it really was going to be one whopper of a tote bag and I really didn't think I would carry something so large.
So I waited a while longer.  I finally decided it would be something of a messenger bag.  Oh no, that meant I had to do some deconstruction and some more embroidery.
So I started on the side embroidery.  I was afraid if I did the 2 layer fabric on the sides it would be too busy, so I went with black fabric with the blue thread.  I still used cotton thread, but I went with the lighter weight Konfetti thread in blue.

Now time to construct. I finally had the idea down, now I had to execute it, without a pattern.  Below is the finished result.  I am glad I took the time to nourish my soul with a fun project just for me.  I finished it this morning and put all the snaps in place.  It is now ready for me to take on my travels.  I will say, no one will ever guess how much time it took to create such a simple looking project.

Have fun creating this week.....Do something to feed your creative spirit!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Good morning

I think I am finally feeling human again after the Novi Show.  It was a pleasure meeting new people and seeing friends from my days living in Michigan.  The Novi Show is always one of my favorites to work as it allows me to see friends both from Leabu's Dealership and from my embroidery group in Macomb while working. 

I guess it is now time to get back to work on some new instructions.  I hope everyone is enjoying the fall weather, it is beautiful here in Tennessee this week.  I am awaiting eagerly for the fall color to begin.  I love this time of year, the colors are so inspiring. 

Pat, I will try to post pictures of the Projects I am working on this week.  I sent the actual samples to Galesburg, so I will have to embroider them again to post.  I never think of taking pictures.  So Sorry!

Have a great week!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lots going on

Hi All,
I finally have a free moment as I sit at the airport waiting on a delayed flight.  Gotta love air travel right?

It has been a busy couple of weeks, so I have been remiss in writing on the blog.  I have been trying to get some new projects finished, so that I can write the instructions and getting ready to go to Novi Sewing Expo.   If you happen to be at the Sewing Expo, drop by the Leabu Sewing Center booth and say hi.

There should be an update for the PE-DESIGN NEXT.  This will update the software to 9.13.  You can install it 2 different ways.  #1, In Layout and Editing, click on the help down arrow and choose Check for Updates. 

#2, go to, click on Support and then choose Software Updates, from the product pull down menu, choose PE-DESIGN NEXT and then click Search.  You can then download and install the update. 

Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 9, 2011


I just updated the links in the post about PE-DESIGN® NEXT videos to include the titles of the videos so you can go to the one you wish to view without having to first find it by clicking on every link.  Thanks Pat for the suggestion.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Newsletter - The Knowing in Sewing September 2011

The latest newsletter went out today.  If you have signed up for the newsletter and did not receive it, you need to check the email address that you signed up with to check for accuracy (or email me with your email address and name and I'll check it for you), or check with your email provider and tell them the emails are not spam.  If you still don't receive the newsletter, email me and I will forward it to you.
This one has a little something extra in it with the tip of the month that is just for those who are on my mailing list or customer list.

Cindy Hogan

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fall is in the air

We certainly have had a change in weather since Saturday!  Here is Tn, we went from 103 on Saturday to 60 degrees today.  Welcome back Fall!  Today is definitely a day for staying in and creating beautiful embroidery projects.  My mind is kind of overflowing with new ideas, now I have to solidify them into something amazing.

I am working on class descriptions for the Galesburg Create and Sew Party.  We will have 2 fun filled days of designing and then embroidering our creations.  You can see an updated calendar on my website

On another note, I just received the most wonderful zippers from Linda McGehee!  I can't wait to put them in my latest tote project.  I'll post pictures when finished.  They zippers are magnificent!  If you haven't seen what she has available, check out her website
Happy stitching,

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Hello all,
Just a reminder about the video tutorials I helped created this winter with Brother that have been posted on YouTube.  These are great videos to get you started with your software.  In writing the scripts for the videos, I used different subjects for the tutorials so they would be a bit different from the lessons you find in my workbooks.  Below are the direct links to the individual video tutorials.  I hope you find them helpful in learning your software program. 

Cynthia's Embroidery

Overview of the software

Working with a custom hoop

Programmable Stitch Creator

Design Database

Template function

Name Drop

Removing parts of a design - split stitch tool

Transforming Text

Photo Stitch

Create Floral Lines (The spiral feature)

Basic Text

Importing a Design and Adding Text

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Testing out a new blogging site

Hello, Fellow Embroidery Software enthusiasts. 
Welcome to my new blog.  I have decided to try a new site using the blogger platform technology instead of blogging in my website as I think it will be more friendly for us to share information.  We shall see how it goes.  This is a test to see what happens.  I am very new to this so please bear with me as we explore this new site.