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I LOVE embroidery. A few years back a friend's mom taught me how and I have been collecting patterns ever since. One of my favorite things to do for a friend is create something for them that is personalized. There are plenty of websites with free designs, but I have found the easiest thing to do is to simply follow these steps:
1) buy fabric on clearance
2) print a design or saying out of your printer or free hand a design with a fine tipped pen
3) use tracing paper and a fabric pen to get the design on to the material
4) go to town!
Framing things such as a verse, monogram or paisley can add a homemade touch to a house for pennies. I have also added a word such as "memories" or "faith" to a shadow box and given it as a gift for someone traveling. They can collect treasures on the trip such as shells, postcards etc and place them around the shadow box.