Saturday, February 27, 2010

NEW #459 Applique Bunny or Bunnies Machine Embroidery Designs

Working on Easter projects? If so, you'll LOVE these cute little bunny applique designs! My new #459 Applique Bunny set will be great for so many different projects!

Shop all designs @ AKDesigns Boutique

#459 Applique Bunny or Bunnies Machine Embroidery Designs Set

AKD Exclusive
This set contains 3 designs in 1 color:

~ Small Appliqué Bunny - 2" x 2.5", 2,627 stitches, 4x4 hoop
~ Medium Appliqué Bunny - 3.1" x 3.8", 3,970 stitches, 4x4 hoop
~ Large Appliqué Bunny - 4" x 5", 5,073 stitches, 5x7 hoop
~ Applique Instructions and Patterns

3 designs included in the set

Have fun shopping!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Testers Needed!

Okay ~ if you're a member of my Yahoo Group then you're already aware of the project that I'm working on. There have been several discussions in the group on how to keep your item secure and in place without moving while stitching ~ this goes for hooped and un-hooped items. Really, even more so for un-hooped items because there's more of a challenge attaching your item to the stabilizer that's hooped. I know that someone that's reading this is thinking "why would you only hoop your stabilizer?" ~ well, it's actually easier to stitch most things un-hooped! There are lots of us that don't hoop anything anymore, because it's just so much easier not to.

The solution that several are using is basting stitches around the outside edge of the hoop before starting to stitch their design. This is a great idea because whether your item is hooped or not, it ensures that your item and stabilizer are secure and in place before stitching your design. I made my ribbon templates with the same idea in mind, but didn't realize that there was such a need for everyday stitching on all items.

The problem is this ~ where do you get basting stitches that fit your hoop?

  1. Your machine ~ does your machine have a "fix" button? If so, this is probably what it does. So, you should be all set and you can start basting away. If you have any questions, you can probably find the answers in your machine's manual
  2. AKDesigns Boutique ~ that's what I'm working on ~ making hoop basting templates for all the different hoops out there.
The hoop templates that I've made so far are listed below [the smallest measurement is first to help with searching] and are in the process of being tested. As soon as the testing is complete, I will add them to the website so that you can start using them.
  • 40mm x 60mm = 1.5" x 2.3" template size
  • 80mm x 120mm = 3.1” x 4.7” template size
  • 100mm x 100mm = 3.9” x 3.9” template size
  • 100mm x 170mm = 3.9” x 6.6” template size
  • 114mm x 171mm = 4.4” x 6.7” template size
  • 120mm x 120mm = 4.7” x 4.7” template size
  • 110mm x 126mm = 4.3” x 4.9” template size
  • 130mm x 180mm = 5.1" x 7" template size
  • 140mm x 200mm = 5.5” x 7.8” template size
  • 160mm x 260mm = 6.2" x 10.2" template size
  • 200mm x 260mm = 7.8” x 10.2” template size
  • 200mm x 300mm = 7.8" x 11.8" template size
If your hoop or hoops aren't listed above and you have a need for a basting template, just e-mail me the hoop size, machine make and model and I'll make the templates for your hoops. The first template that I make for each hoop size will be free to the person that requests it because I will require that they test the template for me ~ so you will be the TESTER :) Please let me know if you have any questions.

Please e-mail the hoop & machine information to

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Authorized Reseller for Monogram Wizard Plus

AKDesigns Boutique is now an authorized reseller for Monogram Wizard Plus!

This is a re-post from Wednesday, July 22, 2009. I wanted to post again since I have so many new readers!

CLICK HERE to see all of the Monogram Wizard Plus products on our website! Plus, all links are PINK below to easily find the specific product that you need.

This is very exciting for a couple of reasons ~ 1) They have just added a very cool "Extended Features Pack" that allows you to use my designs in Monogram Wizard Plus [yeah - it's no longer a stand alone program!!], and 2) many of you already use and love Monogram Wizard Plus, so I can offer you the Extended Features Pack and the Alpha Paks at a discounted price!

Below is a list of products that includes a link to read a little more about each product and my discounted price.

  • Monogram Wizard Plus - $249.00
    Monogram Wizard Plus includes some of the classic monogram fonts that are sometimes hard to find. Here's a link to all the fonts/monograms included in MWPlus

  • Extended Features Pack - $79.99

    • Features Include:

      • Click & Drag - gives the user the ability to click the screen and
        "drag" their design elements to a desired location.

      • Flip Horizontal - this feature allows the user to horizontally
        flip any motif or character, in order to achieve all new results.

      • Flip Vertical - this feature allows the users to vertically flip
        all characters and motifs.

      • Rotate - all new rotate feature allows you to rotate all existing
        motifs and alphabets, to create a whole new look.

      • Color Sort - the color sort feature offers the user the option to choose how
        letters consisting of 2 or more colors will sew, making sewing the designs an even
        easier process.

      • Import - this feature will allow users to import external Embroidery (DST, EXP, SEW, JEF, PES) files, giving them the ability to use designs not included in the Monogram Wizard Plus.

  • Alpha Paks [each Pak sold separately] - CLICK HERE to see them all - $39.99

Bundle Package Specials

Package #1 - $279.00

  • Monogram Wizard Plus

  • Extended Features Pack

Package #2 - $279.00

  • Monogram Wizard Plus

  • 2 Alpha Paks

Package #3 - $329.99

  • Monogram Wizard Plus

  • Extended Features Pack

  • 2 Alpha Paks

Package #4 - $145.00 [for those that already have Monogram Wizard Plus]

  • Extended Features Pack

  • 2 Alpha Paks

Have fun shopping!

feeling pampered...

I'm beginning to think that I'll do anything to postpone working on my Federal Taxes! This is my second personal post in as many days :0)

I color my own hair [most of the time] and today was the day to do it because my gray was peeking through. Normally, while the color sets, I straighten and clean the bathroom, but not today. Today, I pampered myself. First, I applied my deep pore cleaning mud mask to my face and neck. Then, while that dried, I soaked my hands in the sink in warm water & olive oil. This has been an unusually rough winter for me ~ I have dry skin [always have] and I've never been very good at applying moisturizer as much as I should, but I've just totally neglected my skin and especially my hands this winter. If you were to just see my hands, you would guess that I'm 70 or 80 - no joke! They have just been dry and brittle all winter. I'm sure it doesn't help that I've spent so much time outside with the puppy, but that's no excuse. After the olive oil soak, they feel so much better. I just feel so much better and more relaxed and ready to take on all the tasks that are still ahead of me for the day.

Oh, I almost forgot one of the most exciting parts ~ I used 2 new hair-colors and a whole new hair color style, so I can't wait until my hair is dry to see how it turned out! I used Loreal's 4M Dark Mahogany Brown [part of their new decadent chocolate collection] for the whole bottom half of my head and Loreal's 7LA Lightest Auburn for the top half of my head. Since it's still wet, you can't even tell that I used 2 totally different colors :( If it turns out, I'll try to get a picture posted.

Try to find some time to pamper yourself today :)

Puppy Daze...

I sometimes forget that I need to blog about real life and not just business stuff. I'm not sure if you've noticed, but I haven't been as productive as normal for the last couple months. We got a sweet little black lab puppy right before Thanksgiving and I think I've been in a puppy daze pretty much since then. Of course I'm still working, and of course I'm still cooking supper and of course I'm still doing all [or at least most!] of the daily things that we all have to do, but it's just a lot different now. Little Captain BlackJack, Jack for short, pretty much consumes my days. He's sleeping through the night now, so he's stopped consuming my nights too :)

It's so different having a puppy ~ we had Max, a 12 year-old yellow lab, that we lost just about a week before we got Jack. Max was a dog, an old dog, so he was pretty laid back, pretty well trained [except on a leash] and so, so sweet. Everyone just loved Max. It had just been so long since he had been a puppy, that we forgot what puppies are like and how much work they are. Of course anywhere I take Jack, everyone LOVES him too ~ he's just such a pretty dog, he's hard not to fall in love with!

Jack is almost 5 months old, so he's teething now. I'm not sure how this is any different than what he's been doing since we brought him home ~ he's very mouthy ~ EVERYTHING goes in his mouth ~ hands, shoes, shoe laces, feet, socks, toys, cords, kitchen table, kitchen chairs, cabinets,
EVERYTHING... He's actually better now about biting your hands, but he still does it when he gets a chance.

The one thing that I was determined to do right no matter what was potty training and I have to say that it's been a HUGE success! He's really almost been potty trained since we brought him home. He's had very few accidents and they've almost all been our fault for ignoring his request to go out. I read a TON of information on the internet and we bought a cheesy training video at petsmart. It was all so helpful, and I realized that the only reason we had trouble potty training Max when he was a puppy was because we didn't do anything right. It's amazing how easy it is with a little information. I'm sure a lot of you already know a the potty training basics, but here's what helped me:

  1. 8 week old puppies relieve themselves when their bladder is full no matter where they are, no matter what they are doing. It's just a necessary function and they are not making a decision to "go" in the house or outside, they are just "going". It is your responsibility to take them outside BEFORE they "go" inside, so that they get familiar with going outside and eventually know that this is where to "go". So, I set a timer for 10 minutes - yes, 10 minutes and would take him out every 10 minutes when we first brought him home. He would pee almost every time I took him out. After a few days, I set it for 15 minutes, then 20, then 30, etc., and I don't have to set the timer anymore :) I have to say, it was a total pain in the you know what to go outside that often, especially in the rain, snow, sleet, freezing weather, but it's totally worth it now because he doesn't go in the house!
  2. Keep your puppy with you or in his crate at all times. Do not leave him unsupervised or let him roam the house alone. This is a pain too, but I really think it has helped. He isn't able to sneak in the dining room and pee when I'm not paying any attention. It's a little easier now, but I still schedule my day around his naps. I work downstairs on the computer when he's awake and upstairs in my sewing room while he's asleep in his crate. We have baby gates up downstairs to keep him in the same room I'm in. This not only helps with potty training - it helps with making sure that he's not destroying everything he comes in contact with.
  3. Okay - this is the best part - he's trained to ring a bell when he needs to go out! We saw this on the cheesy training video, and my husband didn't think it was worth even trying, but I thought we should at least give it a try and it totally worked - FAST! We bought a little parrot bell and put it on the baby gate that's closest to the front door. He used it the first time the day after we got it. All we did was hang it and when we took him outside [every 15 minutes!] we would say "Ring the Bell to go outside" [in a cheery voice :)] and we would ring the bell and take him outside. It took a little while to get consistent because we left for Indiana 2 days after we got the bell and spent the next 3 weeks [Christmas] there. The set-up was a little different and there wasn't anywhere to hang that bell that he could get to, but as soon as we got back home, he started using it all the time. Now, if he needs to go out - he rings the bell and if you don't hop to it and take him out right that very second, he rings it, and rings it, and rings it ~ one time right after the other! Then, he'll stop so that he can move to where he can see you and look at you as if to say "Hello, I need to go out!"
We are going through puppy obedience training at Petsmart right now, this Thursday is our 3rd class. I wasn't sure how good the training would be, because it's petsmart and not some expensive training at some fancy place, but I've been pleasantly surprised at how good our trainer is and how much we've gone over so far. Here's what we're doing in class:
  • Week 1 - potty training tips, "sit" command, "focus" command, research your dog breed and plan to share with class during week 2 class
  • Week 2 - "leave it" command, "lay" or "down" command, how to walk on a leash without pulling, shared breed information. Breed information - there is another black lab in the class, and I wanted to share something different than they did, so I told them a little bit about the English/British type Labs since that's what Jack is. Here's a link to Jack's breeder. Here's a link to his litter - he was the Orange Boy. Here's a link to breed information.
Jack's Obedience Training Progress
  • He's the only one in the class that's fully potty trained [out of 5 puppies, 2 are his age and the other 2 are a little younger].
  • He was the best "sitter" in the week 1 class [of course - I think so].
  • We're still working on "focus" command - he's getting better
  • He was the only one that already knew the "down" command in the week 2 class.
  • We've worked on the "leave it" command a few times and he does well, so with some more work he'll have it down.
  • He is the craziest, pullingest, choking himself & not being able to breath puppy. He just gets so excited when he sees the other puppies and the other people that he cannot control himself at all. This is the area that he clearly needs the most work. So...the "walk on a leash without pulling" is a work in progress. He does pretty well on a regular walk around the neighborhood as long as no one comes out of their house or no kids are outside running around.
Jack at 7 weeks with Allie - still at the breeder's house - not a very good picture of him, but you can see how small he is - somewhere around 10-12 poundsJack at 7 weeks next to my hose guider [I have no idea what it's really called] yard art.
Jack at 7 weeks already terrorizing my baby cat, Cleo [not really a baby - she's 4]
Jack at about 8-9 weeks - about 15 pounds
Jack at about 11 weeks - sleeping on Allie in the backseat of the truck while traveling at Christmas time. He's a travels great!

Jack at about 12 weeks - we were getting snow flurries - he loves the snow! He was 27 pounds at 14 weeks and 34 pounds at 16 weeks.

Jack at about 18 weeks [4 1/2 months] - how can you resist a face like this?

Jack at about 18 weeks [4 1/2 months] - even when he's doing this? Jeff was in Africa and I had been fighting him for days...I finally gave in...

Jack at about 18 weeks [4 1/2 months] - at That Dirty Dog for his 1st bath away from the house.

Okay, I think I can go to bed now. I just wanted to spend a couple minutes letting you all know what I've been up to lately. Leave a comment if you have a chance.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New Free Teeny Heart Design!

I've just posted the FREE January 2010 design on my Yahoo Group! I guess I better get busy making the free design for February :) If you aren't a member of my Yahoo Group, please use the instructions below to become a member and download the designs. If you have any questions, please e-mail me at

January 2010 Free Design - Medium Teeny Heart - Satin w/Outline only - from our #494 Teeny Heart designs [click here to see the whole set]
~ 388 stitches, .6" x .8", 2 colors

Download your Teeny Heart FREE today!
  • If you're a member of my yahoo group, just Click Here to download [or go directly to the group, login and download]
  • If you're not a member of my yahoo group, just Click Here to join the group, click on "Files", click on "Free Embroidery Designs", then download any of the free designs that interest you ~ Have Fun!
Please Note: Free designs are only posted for 6 months. If this post is older than 6 months, the design will no longer be posted for free, but you can still purchase it @ AKDesigns Boutique.


NEW #494 Teeny Hearts Embroidery Designs

Just in time for Valentine's Day! My new #494 Teeny Hearts set will be great for all of your small projects and perfect for ribbons and bows!

Shop all designs @ AKDesigns Boutique

#494 Teeny Hearts Machine Embroider Designs

AKD Exclusive
This set contains 9 designs - 3 sizes with 3 styles in each size:~ 3 Small Hearts - .5" x .6" - 4x4 hoop
- Satin w/Stripes & Outline – 415 stitches - 2 colors

- Satin w/Outline only – 262 stitches - 2 colors

- Stripes & Outline only – 250 stitches - 1 color

~ 3 Medium Hearts - .6" x .8" - 4x4 hoop

- Satin w/Stripes & Outline – 583 stitches - 2 colors

- Satin w/Outline only – 388 stitches - 2 colors

- Stripes & Outline only – 307 stitches - 1 color

~ 3 Large Hearts - .9" x 1.1" - 4x4 hoop

- Satin w/Stripes & Outline – 882 stitches - 2 colors

- Satin w/Outline only – 613 stitches - 2 colors

- Stripes & Outline only – 408 stitches - 1 color

All 9 designs in set

NOTE: NO FONTS or LETTERS are included in this set. The letters used below are for example only.

Picture of the Small Outline Only Hearts with our #371 Super Skinny Font to spell Emma

Picture of the Large Satin w/Stripes & Outline Heart with our #107 Girly Font to spell Olivia

Have fun shopping!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

NEW #463 Save Mother Earth - Recycle - Embroidery Designs

Here's a great set of Save Mother Earth - Recycle designs! This set will be perfect for your "Go Green" projects.

Shop all designs @ AKDesigns Boutique

#463 Save Mother Earth - Recycle Machine Embroider Designs

AKD Exclusive
This set contains 3 designs in 1 color:
- Small – 3.5" x 3.4" w, 2,362 stitches, 4x4 hoop
- Medium –
5" h x 4.9" w, 3,038 stitches, 5x7 hoop
- Large –
6.1" h x 6" w, 3,509 stitches, 8x12 hoop

All 3 designs in the set

Have fun shopping!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

NEW #481 Fleur de Lis Machine Embroidery Designs

Here's the last of the Mardi Gras / Fleur de Lis designs for now. The #481 Fleur de Lis set will be so much fun! It's so versatile...there are 6 designs in 3 sizes - each size has a 2 color and 4 color choice.

Shop all designs @ AKDesigns Boutique

#481 Fleur de Lis Machine Embroidery Design Set

AKD Exclusive
This set contains 6 designs: ~ 3 Fleur de Lis designs in 2 colors
- Small – 3" h x 2.6" w, 5,035 stitches, 4x4 hoop
- Medium – 3.9" h x 3.3" w, 7,400 stitches, 4x4 hoop
- Large – 5" h x 4.3" w, 11,255 stitches, 5x7 hoop

~ 3 Fleur de Lis designs in 4 colors

- Small – 3" h x 2.6" w, 5,035 stitches, 4x4 hoop
- Medium – 3.9" h x 3.3" w, 7,400 stitches, 4x4 hoop
- Large – 5" h x 4.3" w, 11,255 stitches, 5x7 hoop

All 3 Fleur de Lis designs with 2 colors

All 3 Fleur de Lis designs with 4 colors

Have fun shopping!

Monday, February 1, 2010

NEW #861 Applique Mardi Gras Mask Machine Embroidery Designs

I just finished the second Mardi Gras set ~ #861 Applique Mardi Gras Mask.

Shop all designs @ AKDesigns Boutique

#861 Applique Mardi Gras Mask Machine Embroidery Designs

AKD Exclusive

This set contains 3 designs [in 7 colors]: ~ Small - 2.5" h x 3.8" w, 6,851 stitches, 4x4 hoop

~ Medium
- 3.6" h x 5.5" w, 10,394 stitches, 5x7 hoop
~ Large - 5.3" h x 8" w, 19,062 stitches, 8x12 hoop
~ Bonus
- the eyes don't need to be cut out! I've added a fill stitch so that all you have to do is stitch the inside of the eyes white or the same color as the item that you're stitching ~ it's up to you!

NOTE: Sorry, but this set is NOT available in SEW format

Have fun shopping!