Coming soon: our catalog program QE-Pattern Finder

 If you are a machine embroiderer or longarm quilter, have tons of designs, but are not really into digitizing your own designs, then QE-Pattern Finder is all you need!

A couple of years ago I made up a wish list for an all-rounder standalone catalog program:
  • a program that could show all designs on a computer - both embroidery designs and quilting patterns!
  • a program that made it easy to sort those designs into categories, creating a catalog.
  • I wanted the users to be able to view the resulting catalog on a tablet or on another computer. Therefore "Export as HTML" and "Print Catalog" were added to the wish list.
  • The program should allow our users to quickly change / edit a design without the need for (embroidery) digitizing software.
  • It should be possible to add text / lettering to an existing design - again without the need for other software.
  • The program should also have a batch converter (many of our Art and Stitch customers kept asking for it).
  • The program should also be able to show thumbnails of images (e.g. of stitch outs) and vector artwork (e.g. drawings not finished into designs yet).

My wish list went to the developers and they started working on it. The result is our new QE-Pattern Finder catalog program. It took longer than I wanted, mainly because the same developers are working on our Art and Stitch software. So when we are working on a new version of Art and Stitch, the work on QE-Pattern Finder had to be on hold.

But now we are close, really close!

In the past months I have been writing the QE-Pattern Finder User Guide (a Loes' style User Guide of course) and it's almost ready. The program is almost finished too - some fine tuning finishing touches and then we will release it to our beta-testers first and then to the world!

Needless to say that I am excited!

To be continued... 
In my next blog I will tell you more about the special Early Bird Pre-Release offer for QE-Pattern Finder. Stay Tuned...


New: http://qe-patternfinder.com/


Hardanger Biscornu made with Art and Stitch PLUS

Did you see my article in the Designs in Machine Embroidery Magazine?

Creating the Hardanger Biscornu using the special Hardanger Tool in Art and Stitch PLUS was fun to do, experimenting with Terial Magic to make the linen fabric feel like paper to make cutting inside the Hardanger shapes super easy, and I love the result of the project, but the icing on the cake is really seeing the article in print in the July/August 2015 issue of DIME magazine!

You can download the two Hardanger designs needed to create the Biscornu pincushion. See page: http://www.artandstitchplus.com/hardanger/

Here you will find larger photos of the article. For a full description, get a copy of the July/August 2015 issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery! The full article can be found in the magazine on pages 26 and up.

 Step 1: With the Line Tool, Snap to Grid turned on, draw a hardanger shape:

Just 20 clicks in this example and you're done.

Step 2: Select the shape and click on the Hardanger Tool:

 Art and Stitch PLUS will create the necessary layers along the contour for you.

Step 3: Still with the Hardanger tool active, set the bridges

Simply click and drag from one side of the shape to the opposite side. Repeat. 

Step 4: When all bridges are set, press Enter and the Hardanger design is done!

All layers are automatically created for you.

Step 5: Starch or stabilize the fabric

I used Terial Magic, a fabric stabilizer in a spray. Makes the paper feel like paper and results in nice clean cuts. Videos and instructions can be found on the TerialArts website: http://terialarts.com/

Step 6: Hoop fabric and water soluble stabilizer and stitch the first layer

Then take the hoop off the machine and carefully cut the fabric away (NOT the stabilizer) inside the hardanger shape.

Step 7: Reattach the hoop and let the machine finish the design

The bridges are stitched on the water soluble stabilizer inside the cut away hardanger shape. The program has made enough layers to keep the bridges nice and wide, even after all stabilizer is washed away.

I added more details and embellishments to the design.

This is the second hardanger design of the Biscornu project. Here I used multiple hardanger shapes.
Cutting the fabric away is easy with my Havels double-angled applique scissors.

Step 8: Soak in warm soapy water to remove the stabilizer

Step 9: Sew the two squares together: corner to mid point

Pin the corner of one square to the midpoint of the second square (right sides together) and sew them together, pivoting in all corners. This special way of sewing the two pieces together result in the 8-pointed Biscornu shape.

Step 10: embellish the Biscornu pincusion (or wedding ring pillow)

To see the Hardanger tool in action, see video F2-F5 on our Academy website: http://artnstitch.academy/videos_plus.htm

For an overview of the wonderful embroidery digitizing tools in Art and Stitch PLUS, see page



Back Home

Look what I got

We're back home from our May 2015 Art and Stitch Retreat Trip. Unpacking my luggage feels like Christmas! So many goodies, ready to start my next projects (after the Retreat Trip in June that already starts end of next week):

TSA Notice of Baggage Inspection

Inside my suitcase was a paper telling me that TSA had inspected the contents, to protect me. I hope the officer was a quilter and enjoyed it all :)

Thank You!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who was part of our Retreat Trip:

Our Students: you were great - picked the new techniques up quickly, which makes the classes really enjoyable. Faith, thank you for bribing me with chocolate. Ate it before taking a photo.

Leslie Main of Country Traditions in Fremont, NE: Thank you for hosting the Retreat in your Super Location. Your store is a dream for quilters and the class area upstairs is the largest we have ever seen. Very comfortable!

Thank you AccuQuilt: we truly enjoyed the AccuQuilt Experience and meeting many of you in person. Seeing those beautiful quilts in your gallery was a great inspiration. Loved the quick demo of the new AccuQuilt Big. 

MQS Cedar Rapids: although we thought we had left the noisy Union Pacific train behind in Fremont, it must have followed us... Got lots of Souvenirs from MQS: thank you Havels for the fabric scissors in our goodies bag!

 I bought some colored Magna Glide Delights bobbins to match my favorite Glide thread.
Still need to get the rhododendron color L-bobbins... next time :)

 Thank you Fred Hill for making those beautiful pieces of wood art!. The magnetic pinholder is very useful and I'm amazed how effective the wooden seam presser works. No need to iron, which makes this a real environment friendly product. The sphere and the bowl are just stunning beautiful.

 Our Retreat at Longarm Quilting Academy, hosted by Nanc Christopherson was made special and yummie by the beautiful cake with our Art and Stitch logo on it, donated by Butch Stivers of Delicious Cakes. Thanks so much.

 Our Retreat in Austin, TX, was made special by the trunk show by Kimberly Jolly and her team of Fat Quarter Shop. Seeing the quilts that we all know from her many videos is a wonderful experience. I bought lots of fabric and books to keep me busy for quite a while. First thing to try is the Alphabitties to mark fabric pieces while piecing a quilt.

The last part of this trip was our Master Class in Austin, TX. Thank you Brenda Papadakis for your entertaining show and tell of the Jane Stickle quilt and your Dear Jane project that took over your life. And thank you for signing the books - will treasure them. A small version of a Dear Jane quilt is on my bucket list.

 Thank you Betty for letting me steal your cute measuring tape.

 On Sunday we had planned a sightseeing trip to Hamilton Pool: it was a short trip: Hamilton Pool was closed because of the flooding. A sign "water over road" was an understatement: road and bridge were gone. We left Memorial Day before the flooding in downtown Austin. Our thoughts are with the many people affected by it.

Next teaching trip starts on June 6. Already figuring out how to pack lighter than ever - still need more bobbins, books and fabric, after all there's no such thing as "too much fabric or books" for quilters and embroiderers.



Room for one more Retreat Sampler

Sampler of what our students will learn in the two days Retreat

We're doing a sort of "pre"-packing here: put all things aside that go with us to our big Retreat Tour at the end of this week. And guess what... I see that there's space for one more sampler. I took the Heart shape from the Art and Stitch Library, used the Magic Circle to turn it into a wreath of 6, then drew a circle covering them all in the center, selected all, right-clicked and chose "Transform Artwork > Clip".

Then I filled all parts with a different type of fill: the new Knitting Creative Fill, the Motif that our students are going to make in the Retreat, the new artwork-based stippling fills and in the corners a Distort trick that you won't believe until you see it done :)

Final step was to assign stitches and put it all in the most economical sequence to eliminate tie ins and tie offs, saved into the format of my IQ system and stitched it on my quick and easy longarm-system "hoop".  (I will make a blog about how I designed that quick "hoop" when we're back in July).

Here's an image of the final artwork and a photo of the stitched sampler.

See you soon!

Overview page of our Retreats:


Working on the Class Handouts for our Retreats and Master Classes

Having fun choosing techniques for our Retreats

Our 27,000 miles Grand Teaching Tour to the USA is getting closer and closer.
Our class handouts for our 2-days Retreats and 1-day Master Classes are almost finished and I am having fun!

My personal goal for our teaching tour is to make our students amaze themselves! 

Creating quilting patterns for your longarm system is easy... once you know how to do it!
Our Art and Stitch classes start with easy techniques and they build your skills, so that every step of the way, things are still easy!

Below are some teaser images of quilt patterns our students will create during our Retreats / Master Classes.


Many of our classes are fully booked, but there are still a few openings. See the overview page here:


One of the first exercises on Day 1 of our Retreats - Line Tool in Art and Stitch:

Playing with the wohoo scary Bezier  tool. Just 5 points to create a hatch type fill!

And some more samples of fills - different techniques will be taught on Day 2.

The very versatile Meandering Anything feature is also taught on Day 2.

The Creative Fill function in Art and Stitch can be used to fill a shape and create a continuous pattern, but it can also be used to fill around a shape, leaving that shape open:

Always wondered how professional designers make those beautiful interlocking overall / edge to edge quilt patterns? Well, join our Master Class to learn a trick or two.

Circles, Pebbles, String of Pearls. Always beautiful  in a quilt. Many different ways are taught in our classes!

Want to be able to do this yourself? Come and join our classes:


Art and Stitch Designs - Flagged :)

Art and Stitch Flag ...  Made with Art and Stitch

In May and June 2015 we will be teaching at several events: Retreats and Master Classes organized by ourselves and several classes at MQS in Cedar Rapids en SUGAR in Kansas City.

Although we would love to bring lots and lots of quilted samples with us to show in classes and to decorate our booth at the SUGAR conference, it can't be done. With over 25,000 miles (and no, that is not a typo!) in planes and rental cars we really have to "travel light".
And that is where our flag comes in! One lightweight piece of printed fabric of 6x6 feet. And you know what the fun part is? The flag design was completely made in Art and Stitch.

It's a Cheater Page too !

Besides showing off designs that will be used / created during our classes, the flag is also a cheater page. I can just look at the flag and pick one of the designs to show the technique how to create that particular design. Some designs are simply traced: one of my favorites is a photo I made years ago of a manhole cover in the streets of Antwerp. People must have thought I was crazy to make a photo of it, but it makes a beautiful quilt pattern.

Here are some more details of the flag designs. Geometric designs made with special tricks, designs made using True Type Fonts, the Art and Stitch Rays tool in action, Creative Fills etc.

Curious? Want to join one of our Retreats, Master Classes? Visit our Retreat overview page:

P.S. advantage of traveling light? On our last flight back home I can bring quilt fabric, lots of it :)



Art and Stitch Retreats 2015 - "Zentangle" inspiration

The Master Class Sampler - "Zentangle" inspiration

Remember the Master Class Sampler in one of my previous blog posts? Here is another image of the exact same design. All I did was select the artwork in Art and Stitch and click on the Fill button in Properties Panel, tab Artwork. Because the designs are all continuous paths, the parts that are filled are unpredictable. The result? It gets a "Zentangle" look.

And that is the reason for this blog post: you can get inspiration for designs anywhere. Hopefully when you look at this "Zentangle-like" Art and Stitch design you can do some "reverse thinking" and see the many, many Zentangle images on the internet as inspiration for longarm quilting background fills.

 Do a "Zentangle" search on Pinterest and you will find thousands of beautiful images:

Today the flag arrived that we are using for our Retreats and in our SUGAR booth. The flag was designed in Art and Stitch Base. I will show it in my blog tomorrow.

Our Retreats are filling up - hurry!