"Use Your Words" Contest: The Winners!

What a week we had reviewing and compiling the judges scores on the amazing “Use Your Words” Contest submissions. There were so many stunning entries, it was truly a difficult week in which we fantasized about winning the lottery so we could buy every single Prudent Mama a new Brother machine, but there could only be one winner. And so we tallied up the scores, and now we present the top ten scoring entries. And surprise surprise, all ten get a prize!  One finalist was selected as Best Machine Embroidery and receives a $100 gift card to Too Cute Embroidery to spend on stunning and adorable machine embroidery patterns, yay! The other eight finalists receive luscious Color Effects Collection thread packs from Kreinik to use for future beautiful hand embroidered works. Aren’t they gorgeous?

Now, without further ado, the top ten Use Your Words Embroidery Contest entries, and a few words from their creators…

10. Natalie from Leopard or Polka Dots

Agh! I am finally submitting my entry! My sweet, sweet two year old (grinning) happened to get sick during the entirety of the contest and as a mother I wanted her well and in no more pain… and as an avid Prudent Girl I needed her to allow me out of the rocking chair so I could stitch away! 😉 Friday was our turning point… and I decided to…Embroider a kitchen cabinet door! 🙂 I didn’t want a kitchen saying since this door is seen from the living room as well- so I choose “Once a job is once begun, never leave it till it’s done. Be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all.” My mother and grandmother have worn this saying out and I swore as a child I would never tell my own children this… well my two year old isn’t quite old enough for it, but I can already guarantee she will hear this over and over and my husband is quite familiar with it after 4 years of marriage. I do love the saying and I choose the cabinet door because when we moved in our house I could not afford glass inserts and the doors were already cut ready for them, so I made chalkboard inserts and after awhile I just wanted a little something more there… when the contest came up I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I only bought a little extra thread in some favorite colors. I like the homemade look it has and it fits the look of my house very well. Oh and I finally decided upon the sweet little Russian dolls because I felt they had a bit of a kitchen feel, without committing to a kitchen theme, this away I can always take this off the cabinet and reframe it elsewhere if I desired.

9. Elizabeth – Winner: Best Machine Embroidery!

Forever my inspiration, my boys, their love for each other stronger than any argument they’ve ever had. I hope for my boys that they realize that Hug O War is so much better than tug o’ war, love better than violence. (and much credit goes to Shel Silverstein as well!!) 
Elizabeth- all the judges were so impressed by the lack of puckering on this detailed jersey t-shirt! We hope you enjoy your $100 gift card to Too Cute Embroidery to stock up on great machine patterns!

8. Lindsey from Happier Than A Bird Quilts

My project is a hand embroidered, original design, inspired by one of my favorite quotes. I just used cotton fabric, embroidery floss and needle and picked up the cute frame at IKEA.

7. Lindsay

Felt Fruits of the Spirit by Lindsay Hindman: These 9 handsewn eco-felt fruits (apple, orange, pear, banana, lemon, lime, kiwi, grapefruit, and watermelon) are each embroidered with one of the nine virtues mentioned as a “fruit of the spirit” in Galatians 5:22-23 in the Bible and they will be a birthday gift for my niece. I used DMC satin floss for the words and decoration and a variety of cotton floss for construction of the fruit, and used a total of 10 different stitches for construction and for the words and details embroidered on the fruit: backstitch, running stitch, whipstitch, stem stitch, blanket stitch, seed stitch, satin stitch, split stitch, scroll stitch, and whipped spider wheels.

6. Valena

My depiction of the Brother Project Runway Limited Edition LB-6800PRW Sewing and Embroidery Machine was made to adorn a new sewing machine cover I will make for this lovely machine if I win! My theme was “Couples that stitch together stay together” referring to the long relationship I have had with my current Brother machine and hope to have with yet another Brother machine, B+V (Brother + Valena) stitch together…and stay together!

5. Jessica

The contest rules said that our entry could be as long as a novel, so I took your suggestion quite literally and created a hand-stitched book cover for some of my favorite words, To Kill A Mockingbird. I am relatively new to embroidery, so I had fun learning different stitches from your website and others, including the whipstitch I used on the tree, a weave for the authors name, satin stitching for the background and backstitching for the title. Jessica also included the following reviews of her creation: “The absolute best (and only) embroidery skills I’ve ever witnessed” -My Husband; “A fantasitc display of color and contrast, style and worksmanship” – My Mom.

4. Candice

Here is my entry, my name is Candice. My address is in Australia but if I win I’d like to donate the sewing machine to my friend Laura who lives in Laveen, Arizona. The words are lyrics from U2’s song, Acrobat. I embroidered this as a birthday gift for a friend & fellow mum with 2 small kids who drive us up the wall sometimes 😉 the colours are influenced by my 5 year old son, who is rainbow obsessed.

3. Julie

Okay…. I am so excited for this contest! Having never stitched a stitch of embroidery before in my life, your give away contest inspired me to make a more lasting version of the story my 3 yr. old daughter wrote for me (by way of narrating to her Grammy) on the day I went to the hospital to give birth to her baby brother. So I googled “simple embroidery how-to”, made a trip to JoAnn’s for all the supplies, and started stitching… and as I stitched the last few stitches I smiled- okay, maybe even shed a few tears- because I knew I had just made something special that I will eventually pass on to my girl when she gives birth to her first baby! So thank you SO much for such an inspiring contest! ** all pictures and words are credited to my 3 year old girl. Mama just provided the supplies and the handi-work!

2. Sarah – *Note. Turns out, the submitter was not the real artist behind this work (grr!), The real artist is Sarah from Totally Severe and her work is AMAZING – go check it out right now! 

Hi. This my first attempt of doing this style of embroidery. I used regular old red embroidery floss and a needle.Stitching the text and details were tedious but so worth it. I have made several of embroidery projects and this is my favorite. I embroidered Tim Gunn from “Project Runway” since he’s my fav on the show and seriously who doesn’t like Tim Gunn?!

Want to know who wins the Brother Project Runway Limited Edition LB-6800PRW Sewing and Embroidery Machine? Find out after the jump!
And the “Use Your Words” Embroidery Contest winner is…

1. Tessa from Lady Tessa Marie!

I was inspired to make this beautiful embroidered portrait of my one year old daughter commemorating her first year (her birthday was last weekend) and all of the things that make her her. The outlines of her face are done in brown embroidery thread on natural linen and include her nicknames (like boo, birdie, and bug), words describing her sweet little self (fearless, squirmy, tough, bright, etc.), and what she is to me (blessing, home, sweet, etc.), and her ears are probably my favorite part (no no no no no). I used the portrait to make a slipcover for my 12×12 scrapbook that will one day be her baby book, and posted a complete tutorial on how to do the embroidery and make the slipcover on my blog The Lady here. If you click through to her site, you can see the photograph that inspired her entry. What a unique and lovely way to “use your words.”

Thank you to Tessa, the top ten, and everyone else who entered! You inspire and delight us and Prudent Mamas everywhere. Check back later today for a slideshow of all 400+ pictures.

Jaime & Jacinda




Wow. What s great first thing to read this morning! The people who entered are all so talented! The Tim Gunn one is amazing, I've never seen embroidery like that before!


These are all amazing. I think my favorite is the To Kill a Mockingbird cover, one of my favorite books.


Congrads to Tessa!! Your hand embroidery of your daughter with words is lovely and creative. Enjoy your new Brother machine!!

Kimberly F

I am amazed! Tessa's and Julie's brought a few tears to my eye. And I wish Tim Gunn could come home with me. Great job, everybody! I can't wait to see the other entries!

Lil' Bit and Nan

Yay Tessa! I am so proud of you. I knew you would win. You are one of my closest friends! We miss you back here in Cali. Hope you are enjoying Texas. Awesome job, friend!



Thank you so much for including me in the finalists!
You have seriously made my day! 🙂

I just want to say that I never think of my kidlets as b*st*rds! It kind of sounds horrible when I read what I wrote, I think I must have been having a pushed-to-the-limit kind of day that day 🙂

Well done to everyone and Tessa's entry is gorgeous!

Thanks again!

x candice x


Liz {Learning To Juggle}

Oh my goodness!! I am absolutely blown away!! I have to admit I was even a bit speechless on Monday (a state of being I never achieve!!) I worked so hard on the shirts for my sons (the little guy has a matching one now too) to know that work is appreciated means so much to me!! (sorry if I'm gushing but this is the first time I've won anything based on my sewing talent!!) I can't wait to go shopping for fun & cute designs now!!


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