Quick Projects Perfect for Last-Minute Gifts

Christmas is days away, but there is still time to embroider something special. These project ideas stitch up fast and are oh, so cute!

Whether for family and friends or service providers who have brightened your life over the past year, it’s nice to share the love during the holidays. These designs can be stitched up in no time.

Candy Cane Hangers

Grab your felt scraps and buy some candy canes! These adorable 3D Christmas Candy Cane Holders by Ananda’s Divine Designs will bring a smile to young and old alike. The set also includes a stick horse, owl, and deer.


Designs like Blackwork Christmas 01 by One by One Embroidery look beautiful when embroidered on a purchased hand or kitchen towel. Add it to a basket of lotions or gourmet mixes for a wonderful hostess gift.

Want to know how to make the back look pretty too? Read here!

Decorative Pillows

Sometimes, even simple makes a statement, as with this Bauble by Stitch Delight. You can always stitch up a pillow cover (get a free pattern here). If you are pressed for time, purchase one and add embroidery.

Designs become even more elegant when stitching with metallic thread. If metallics make you nervous, check out these tips for taming metallic threads.

Personalized Items

Adding a monogram to any gift makes it even more special. Use a pretty holiday font, like Christmas Alphabets 012 by One by One Embroidery.

Stitch fonts on felt for personalized ornaments, add them to a wine bottle bag for a classy presentation, embellish a plush throw, or simply stitch and pop into a pretty frame.

Not sure how an embroidered monogram should look? Check out monogram protocol here.




Setting Your Christmas Table

You’ve got the tree and wreaths are hung. Don’t forget your table when you are decorating. We have the designs you need to make your holiday meals even  more festive!

Table Decorations by Mar Lena Embroidery

Stitch up beautiful 3D and fill stitches poinsettias for cutlery holders, door hangers, napkin rings, and table linens.

Christmas Bow Runner by Oh Sew New

Combine files to create elegant table cloths and table runners. Whether you make the runner or buy one already made, you can accent these designs with metallic thread for a bit of sparkle.

Poinsettia Table Runner by Embroider Shoppe

An easy, multi-hooping technique turns organza into gorgeous, shimmering poinsettias. Tack them together to make table runners, garlands, or use them to make a pretty pin or hair accent.

 Christmas Placemats by Allstitch

Mix and match these Christmas word art files for unique placemats that will impress your guests. Create the placemat or buy ready-made mats and add embroidery.

 FSL Christmas Napkin Rings by Ace Points

Little touches make a big difference. Choose from 14 different napkin rings stitched as freestanding lace. Just stitch and soak for a festive addition to your holiday table.

 Christmas Coasters by Oma’s Place

These Christmas coasters stitch up fast but look like you spent days on them. Piece, quilt, and embroider entirely in the hoop. The set of 4 comes with a holder that doubles as a hot pad for a great stocking stuffer or hostess gift.


Glowing Christmas Table Runner by Designs 4 Africa

Dress up a plain table cloth with this pretty table runner. Line quilting combines with holly motifs and elegant trapunto accents, making the stippled blocks pop on a monotone fabric.

 Cutwork for Christmas by Erinas Designs

Add gorgeous cutwork to table cloths, table runners, placemats, and napkins. If you can stitch applique, you can create heirloom cutwork very easily!

Stitch up something pretty for yourself, a friend, or hostess gift!

Winding Bobbins From Big Spools Without a Thread Stand

Sometimes you need to improvise. I’ll show you how to wind bobbins, or stitch from the big spools, even if you don’t have a spool stand!

I prefer to use Bottom Line by Superior Threads as my bobbin thread. It is virtually lint free and smooth as silk. Of course, it is more economical to buy thread by the 3,000-yard cone rather than the 1,420-yard spool. 

Without a thread stand, the cone doesn’t work well on a standard single-needle embroidery machine. It’s too large to fit on the horizontal thread pin and too heavy to spin on the vertical pin.

I prefer to wind my bobbins through the needle. I believe I get a smoother, more filled bobbin that way. Here is a tip on getting by without a separate thread stand.

  1. Place the thread cone on the table, below the traditional spool pin.
  2. Use an empty thread cone or spool on the rewind spool pin. Drape bobbin thread behind the cone or spool. That allows the thread to feed smoothly as if it were coming from the traditional position.
  3. Thread your machine with the bobbin thread.
  4. Oops, I skipped number 4!
  5. Thread the needle and make sure the thread flows under the presser foot.
  6. Wind the bobbin as usual.

Providing a clear path for the thread to feed off of the cone makes winding bobbins effortless, even without a thread stand.

Great Gifts for Embroidery Friends

Want to make something special for your embroidery, sewing, and quilting friends? We have just what you need!

Whether you embroider, sew, quilt, or serge, the Embroidery Mat by Erina’s Designs is especially useful. With three front pockets, you will have everything you need, right at your fingertips. Ten embroidery designs are included for embellishing blocks as desired.

Know a frequent class participant? The ITH Sewing Name Tag by Sew Michell works as a name tag or a machine tag. Customize for guilds, seminars, and retreats.

On the go? Inspiration Mutz designed this handy Mini Sewing Kit for busy creative people. It’s made in the hoop and would be useful for hand and machine users alike.

If you know someone whose sewing room is their happy place, they will love this Happy Quilt Banner by Oma’s Place. It is pieced, quilted, embroidered, and assembled in the hoop!

These Glamour Bags by My Fair Lady would be as equally useful in the sewing room as in the dressing room. Keep scraps in the bin and notions in the bag.

Anyone would appreciate a Machine Cover. This one by Enchanting Designs provides several motifs for customization of machine covers and wall hangings. Keeping your equipment dust (and paw) free never looked so good!

Is a Stitch Eraser on Your List?

Stitch erasers are nice but do you really need one? Read on to find out!

Recently, I decided to try using variegated thread on bushes in an embroidery project. The mistake I made was not doing a test stitchout. Variegated thread changes colors in certain increments, generally every inch. While I was hoping that the shrub would show shades of green, it actually stitched in stripes of green.

Stitch erasers are an embroidery tool you don’t even know you need, until you do. Then, they are a godsend.

Stitches are removed from the back of the embroidery. It takes surprisingly little effort. Just slide the cutting blade along the bobbin stitching on the back of the embroidery. Turn over the hoop and carefully brush the surface of the embroidery with your finger nail. Threads rake right off.

Although you can eliminate all stitches, I left some of the underlay since it would be covered by dense fill stitching anyway. 

Restart the embroidery that was erased, and you’d be hard pressed to know that there was ever a blunder.

You do have to be careful when using stitch erasers. Be sure to operate on a flat surface to prevent the embroidery from stretching in the hoop. Avoid over-use of the stitch eraser. A little big goes a long way and you can cut through fabric if you are not careful.

We all make mistakes. That doesn’t mean anybody has to know!