Finding Creative Places in Unlikely Spaces

Need a sewing and embroidery space that is just your own? These unique options show how you can get big results out of the smallest of spaces.

Need a sewing and embroidery space that is just your own? These unique options show how you can get big results out of the smallest of spaces.

If one of your resolutions for the new year was to spend more time on embroidery in your own designated space, you will love these examples of creative spaces in the unlikeliest of places.

These projects are also ideal if you are sharing your creative space with an existing guest room or family room. You don’t need much real estate if it is organized properly.

Armoires & Entertainment Center Makeovers

Entertainment Center Makeover by Remodelicious

If you are short on space, consider re-purposing an old entertainment center. Add a coat of paint, some baskets, peg board, and under-counter lighting for a cozy sewing nook. Typically, the main shelf pulls out so you can sew and go. Close the doors when you are done and everything is out of site!

Sewing Armoire by Kenneth Wingard

This armoire takes the sewing nook one step further with the addition of a drop-down table for even more sewing and embroidery space. The table folds up when not in use and the armoire closes up, keeping your machine and supplies under wrap. Nobody would guess what’s really inside!

Closet Spaces as Creative Places

Sewing Closet by Gwenny Penny

Often, all you really need is an under-used closet. You don’t have to be a carpenter to pull off this project. Use existing shelving and add a table top surface over purchased storage drawers. 

Craft/Sewing Closet by DiybyDesign Judy

This former storage room got a high-functioning makeover. Cabinets, a desk, and shelves make the most of existing space. The window even acts like a skylight of sorts. When you are done being creative, close the doors and the room looks tidy.

 Closet Office With Corner Desk by Sew Woodsy

This space is perhaps my favorite of all five. It takes the closet concept to a whole new level. The door-less corner closet acts as a recessed work and storage space, then wraps around the corner in a U-shape. That gives a lot of counter top area for hooping, ironing, stitching, editing, cutting fabric, and a computer station.

Follow the links above to see how each area was created. Which is your favorite?



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3D Embroidery Brings Designs to Life!

Your embroidery will come alive when you stitch three-dimensional designs. Go full-throttle 3D with freestanding lace or applying freestanding applique techniques to organza. Both are surprisingly easy!

Your embroidery will come alive when you stitch three-dimensional designs. Go full-throttle 3D with freestanding lace or applying freestanding applique techniques to organza. Both are surprisingly easy!

Stitching 3D machine embroidery designs makes them jump off of the fabric. Usually, the dimensional part of the designs are stitched like a freestanding applique  on fabric-type water-soluble stabilizer, in a separate hooping before you start stitching the actual project.

Remember to use the same thread in the bobbin as that with which you are stitching the satin stitches. That way, the edges of your 3D embellishment are pretty.

After embroidery, the stabilizer is trimmed away and the remainder is removed with a wet cloth or stencil cutter.

When you get to a certain point in the project, you will be instructed where to place the pieces. Depending on the digitizer, dimensional embroidery may be attached to the project while in the hoop or may be added after the project is finished.


3D Butterfly Purse by Oma’s Place

An adorable little girl’s purse becomes so much more enchanting with a 3D butterfly on the front! Butterfly wings are created before the butterfly body stitches out. The body attaches wings to the bag before it gets turned right side out.


3D Easter Wreath and Basket by Ananda’s Divine Designs

How cute would this be hanging on your front door? There are dozens of options with this design since each piece is made in the hoop separately. Basket, bunny, eggs, chicks, and flowers are all  freestanding appliques.


3D Flowers Delight by Mar Lena Embroidery

Stitched similarly to the Poinsettia Tea Lights project, organza flowers add depth to the rippled embroidery underneath. Together, they make a stunning statement.


3D Iron On Flower 2 Neckline by Embroider Shoppe

Organza flowers make a gorgeous presentation here as well. These flowers were stitched, assembled, and embellished with beads before being fused to the garment using fusible web.


3D Pearly Daisy by Embroidered Necessity

Dimension can also be accomplished using layers of freestanding lace. The two flower layers are stitched separately, then layered and accented with the center embroidery which holds everything in place.


Stumpwork Mylar Fairies by Embroidery Weekly

This is perhaps my favorite of all of these samples. Not only are the skirt and wings added over the rest of the embroidery, the entire design sits on a scenic fabric panel, which adds even more depth to the project.

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Machine Embroidery Projects to Get You Organized

It’s the time of year we often get our lives back in order. A place for everything and everything in its place never rang more true than in your sewing and embroidery area. If you are like me, your creative space is ground zero for chaos following the Christmas merry making marathon. Here are some cute-as-can-be machine embroidery projects that will help you get everything organized.


Sweet Sewing Box by Enchanting Designs

Keep your notions, pins, needles, and machine cleaning supplies within reach while looking pretty in this vintage sewing box. Customize with quilting and embroidery.


Sewing Kits by Stitch Soup

On my list of things to make this year, these vinyl pocket sewing kits are a fabulous idea. Mix and match the quick stitch options for housing your needles, notions, buttons, and presser feet.


Sew Organized by My Fair Lady

This is also on my list of things to make this year. Add as many pockets as you like to keep all of your thread, notions, and supplies organized and looking nice.


Victorian Pin Cushion by Stitch Delight

Keep pins secured and off of the floor with a darling Victorian pin cushion. Keep it by your machine or add an elastic strap and it will sit nicely on your wrist.

Quilted Box Purses by Inspiration Mutz

Two hoopings are all it takes to construct these boxy zip bags. They would be perfect to keep clips, thread, and other project supplies together in one place.


Sew Something by My Fair Lady

Another of my must-make items, this sewing mat is not only cute, it is extremely functional. Bobbin pockets, a thread catcher, and the option for adding a magnetic strip keep everything you need within reach.

Birdhouse Boxes by Stitch Delight

So adorable, these birdhouse boxes hold facial tissue. Or, simply add fabric over the applique opening and you can use them to store most anything.

Little Boxes by Enchanting Designs

Another adorable must-have item is these storage boxes. Easy to assemble with sturdy cardboard, just eEmbroider accents and dividers. Then use them to keep track of design notes, thread, fat quarters, and more!


Magic Christmas Nesting Box by Embroidery Weekly

These nesting boxes aren’t limited to Christmas. Grab your scraps and stitch up a bunch to tidy up your creative space. They are great for storing thread, fabric, and supplies, and take up little room when empty.


Organizer Baskets by Ronels Creations

Another great scrap buster, these pretty baskets stitch up in two heights with extra storage in the cone-shaped corners. Panels are created in the hoop and then zigzag stitched together.


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Machine Embroidery Resolutions for the New Year

Every year at this time, many of us make a resolution for the new year. It doesn’t have to be the traditional “lose weight” or “stop smoking” (although those are great ways to be more healthy). Why not resolve, right now, to learning more about machine embroidery?

Here are three New Year resolutions for machine embroiderers:

#1 Try a new technique

Patchwork Quilt Blocks 12 by Stitch Delight

What have you always wished you could do with your machine? It’s time to be fearless! What is the worst that can happen? We have plenty of project tutorials on the Secrets blog and our designers provide excellent instructions for all kinds of designs:

#2 Organize your files (finally!)

Classics by Louisa Meyer Originals

Tired of constantly looking for files that you know you have? It is so much more efficient to keep your embroidery designs organized in an orderly fashion. Secrets has a download of category folders that makes it easy for you to keep track of your designs once you purchase them.

#3 Make time (and space) to embroider

Kayla Floral Cutwork Doily by Art Embroidery

All skills need practice and mastering machine embroidery is not just about embroidering. You also have to find a space in which to be creative. That doesn’t mean that you have to add on a sewing studio (although that would be wonderful). Find a space where you can set up your machine and leave it, even if it is a closet.

You are more apt to spend time getting to know your machine, and actually using it, if you can access it without dragging everything out and setting it up every time.

What is your embroidery resolution?

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Top-10 Machine Embroidery Designs of 2018

It is always interesting to see what everybody else is stitching. Here are Secrets of Embroidery’s  top-10 machine embroidery designs of 2018.

#10 Christmas Towel Toppers by Embroider Weekly

Super easy to make in just two hoopings. There is a little bit of hand stitching to close the opening and attach the hanging ring.


#9 Ornament Runner by Kreations by Kara

This design is perfect on a table runner or for making placemats, a wallhanging, or a deorative flag.


#8 3D Christmas Angel by Graceful Embroidery

Mix and match components of this gorgeous design, then accent with metallic thread, beads, crystals and lace.


#7 Flower Bear by Louisa Meyer Originals

Stitch this adorable bear for girls or leave off the flowers for boys. Personalize with a name on the front. Bonus heart balloon is also included!


#6 Folding Tote Bags by Stitch Soup

This handy tote folds up into a snapped pouch for easy storage. Made in the hoop, it sewn together with French seams for no raw edges!


#5 Crafty Divas Set by Threads of Embroidery

It is easy to see yourself or your friends in this eclectic set of creative divas. They can sew, quilt, and embroider.


#4 FSL Realistic Butterfly by Ace Points Embroidery

Everyone will do a double-take with these freestanding lace butterflies. Stitched on water-soluble stabilizer, they look like the real thing.


#3 3D Animal Towels by Ronels Creations

Kids will love bath time when they have their very own 3D towel. Removable wash cloths form the feet and fins.


#2 Pixies and Fairies by Artistic Designs

Eight adorable garden fairies in two hoop sizes provide many options for fun embroidery that speaks to the little girl in all of us.

 And the most popular design of 2018 is

#1 Snowman Christmas Tree Skirt by Ananda’s Divine Designs

This 32” diameter tree skirt is made up of 12 panels. Each has three individual designs made in the 6×8 hoop. Pieces are finished off with a satin stitch outline for easy joining.

It’s not too early to start projects for next Christmas!

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