ME! Finally, I can announce it publicly. One of my designs won not one, but two categories in the 2011 Stitches Magazine Golden Needle Awards!
I entered my newest zipper bag in the 2011 Stitches Magazine Golden Needle Awards contest earlier this year at the urging of a friend (Terri Hanson of Terradon Embroidery). Stitches is a free publication for the commercial embroidery market. I've always thought of my designs as more for the home embroidery market than the commercial market, but figured I might as well give it a shot. I am glad I did. They liked the idea of an all-in-the hoop design.
My Kindle bag, the latest addition to my line of in-the-hoop zipper bag took first place in the Embroidery - Accessories, Fashion category. At the time I was told, I thought it a little strange as I had entered it in the Digitizing category. But a win is a win, right? Then I found out a few weeks later that it also took first place as the Best Fashion Accessories, Design in the Digitizing category as well! Double exciting!
I guess I tend to think of commercial embroiderers as those with machines running lots and lots of heads all at the same time. It isn't really true any more. There are lots of people running single heads machines who are looking for unique items that might not be cost effective for a larger establishment. I think my zipper bags fill that need pretty well. Each bag can be unique without making any changes other than making it from a different fabric or changing the color of the ribbon. You can add a monogram to personalize it. There is space for an embroidery design above the pocket or on the back side - which is closed with a zipper - also applied as part of the in-the-hoop process. You can precut the fabrics and have everything ready to go to help streamline the process. I usually cut one out while one is running. The bag is also very versatile. You don't have to have an e-reader to make use of it. If you add a shoulder strap (easy to do, too) it makes a really cute purse!
The other thing that really thrilled me was that this proves that you don't have to have the most expensive software or the most expensive machine on the market to do good work. Award winning designs can be achieved using whatever software/machine you own. It is the imagination, the skill and the dedication of the person using them that makes or breaks it. I use a relatively inexpensive embroidery software called Embird Studio to create my designs. It might not have all the bells and whistles that some of the really expensive stuff does, but it does everything I ask of it and it does it well. The proof is in the results, right? I would rather spend my dollars on other things - like fabric and thread and new laptops, or amazing paper-cutting machines.
If you don't get Stitches Magazine, you can view the issue on-line. At the time of this writing, their website wasn't yet updated to the November issue, but I suspect it will be soon. My design is on pages 46 and 51. The bright colors really show up, don't they? You can purchase the Kindle bag design as well as my other zipper bags on my Pegboard Crafts website. Don't forget to look at my other applique designs while you are there and pick up a few freebees too. I'm not all just about zipper bags!