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Confessions of a Non-Crafter: Embroidery and I Might Be Having a Moment

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I have a lot of friends who could be called crafty. You know the type: They try new recipes, make scrapbooks, totebags and headbands for your kid. Truthfully, I find them just slightly annoying. It's just so not me. Part lack of time, part lack of interest, part I'd rather be doing Zumba. It shocks people when they meet me, like they expect me to be quilting or making chocolate souffles. Oh honey, not this girl!

There is the frequent misconception that all designer are crafty types. I assure you this is not the case. As for me, I have the eye. Then, I have the phone number of the person to perform the task. However, I've always loved anything to do with sewing and embellishments. My grandfather was a tailor, my grandmother made us coats (seriously) and all my fashion designer friends can sew like pros. I got into sewing years ago because it gave me the ability to personalize things and add my own touch on something as simple as a pillowcase. Creating a custom look on just about anything is fabulous and slightly addicting.

The word "embroidery" used to conjure up images of some crusty old lady sitting in a smelly sun room making folk type patchwork pieces to be put in a dusty old frame. Did I mention the term "folk" anything gives me hives? Yeah, it does. But times, they are a changin'! That just is not the case anymore...

Recently, I've been seeing a trend of embroidery coming into home decor. Pillows, chairs, linens and accessories seem to be most popular. Recently, I found embroidered fabric wall coverings in a very modern style that were gorgeous! The textural element is the type of detail I love in a home. I wanted to see if I could do it myself after I heard about the new Brother PE 500 "embroidery only" sewing machine which promised to deliver options and results previously unheard of and at $299 it was attractive, as well. I called an expert sewer friend of mine and she came over to help me get set up and assist, if needed. After opening the box, I was sweating! It looked way too complicated for me.

Brother states on their website that this machine is geared towards those interested in "trying your hand at embroidery for the first time, a crafter looking for a new challenge, or an advanced embroiderer looking for a unit to carry to a make and take." Um, what's a make and take? Clearly, I was nervous since I wasn't really in any of these categories. Oh, brother... (no pun intended) what did I get myself into?

In spite of my lack of experience, I was blessed with the ability of quick learning, so away we go! It actually wasn't that hard. I almost forgot my friend was there! She definitely helped me get more acclimated with the machine and the basics of what to do but for the most part, just playing with it helped the most. The best features for me were the automatic threader and built in tutorials. It has computer connectivity that can connect you to their site, ibroidery.com giving you access to thousands of designs available for purchase. The machine itself comes with 70 designs, five fonts and over 100 frame patterns. Don't I sound like an expert already?
I'm really glad I got it and I intend on embroidering basically everything in my house. I bought a set of Egyptian cotton napkins at Home Goods for $14.99 and I plan on turning them into a fabulous monogrammed set for my mom this Mother's Day! Wrap them in my own tissue paper and ribbon and she'll think I spent a bundle in some Madison Ave. specialty shop. That's what I'm talking about! No smelly old lady, no folksy nada, just fabulousness!

Although I had fun, I don't plan of giving up my day job. And I have no plans of making Gruyere Mac and Cheese or Tartelettes de Framboises any time soon. Just saying...

XO
Courtney

Check your local TV listings for more of Celebrity Designer, Courtney Cachet's style ideas and tips! You can catch her frequent appearances nationwide on TV, where she dishes out all the latest in celebrity home and lifestyle! Keep up with her on www.courtneycachet.com or Facebook and join the conversation!