Applique Lily Hand Towels

Month eleven in our year-long Echidna PIE Embroidery Training Program falls in May, which has two birth month flowers: Lily and Hawthorn.

The lily is a symbol of innocence; purity and beauty. The Celtic meaning of the hawthorn tree deals with balance and duality. The hawthorn is also the state flower of Missouri.

This month our focus is on embroidering on terry cloth. This fabric is thick, plush and shifty so it requires special considerations for hooping, stabilizing, and design choice.

Even thread choice can be a factor. For example, if your towels will be exposed to sunlight for long stretches (beach towels) or left damp in a humid bathroom, rayon thread is not the best choice for embroidery.

Applique is the closest thing we have to a “one size fits all” solution in embroidery. That said, there are things we can do to improve it so that a really plush terry doesn’t encroach over the stitching.

I used purchased towels and after embroidering, further embellished them to turn them into designer towels.

Learn more about the training series: Looking for High-Quality Low-Cost Embroidery Education? (Note that the entire series is now bundled into one downloadable product.)


Designed and made by Lindee Goodall (4/10/2015)

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Daisy In-the-Hoop Zips

The daisy is the birth month flower of April and is associated with purity, innocence, loyal love, beauty, patience, and simplicity.

This month’s project is the result of requests for “in-the-hoop” projects, specifically a zippered bag. This design series is really based on a block of the month quilt and therefore doesn’t include an ITH bag.

Digitizing a basic in-the-hoop project is not difficult once you understand how the project is “engineered;” after all it’s really just composed of running stitches to replace the seams.

But not everyone has digitizing so I added a basic bag specifically for this lesson. It’s only available with the lesson and not the April Birth Month Flower collection.

A basic bag is all well and good but what if you want to add a design to it? And what if the design you’d like is really part of another design? Well, then, you’ll have to dig into software.

This lesson involves more advanced editing and even a little stitch editing. We’ll extract some elements from a daisy design and rearrange them for a simple design to quilt our ITH bag.

Then we’ll learn where to insert it into the bag design in the proper sequence.… Read the rest

Daffodil Embroidery as Art

The March birth month flower is the daffodil, which is also the tenth-anniversary flower. Daffodils symbolize rebirth and new beginnings and are virtually synonymous with spring.

We’ve been on our journey for nine months and have developed many new skills. Previous months in the Echidna PIE Embroidery Training Series have often required significant investments in time and/or effort so we’ll take a little break this month for lesson 9.

The focus this month is on the stitch and how different stitch types and combinations of stitch types affect the choices you make for hooping and stabilizing and even what fabrics work best.

Our project is an easy one—simply stretch your finished embroidery over a purchased artist’s canvas. These small ones are thicker than larger ones and I’ve finished the edge by hot-gluing a piece of purchased ribbon.

The result is a great piece of wall art that would be a wonderful tie-in with the quilt or the pillow toppers. It’s also a great way to show off that interesting embroidery design you have no idea what to stitch it on!

If you’re looking for a no-sew project that can be stitched in a smaller hoop without requiring precise placement, this is it.… Read the rest

Iris Sweatshirt

In month eight of the Echidna PIE Embroidery Training Series, we take a deep dive into color. I’m often asked how I choose colors for a design and there are a lot of factors that affect my choice.

Oh sure, designs come with recommended colors. My original iris designs in this collection were blue-purples. How do you think they’d look on this red-purple sweatshirt?

Since we’re using the fill stitch version this month which is designed more realistically than the applique or redwork versions, choosing the wrong colors can totally ruin the appeal of the finished project.

Our project also involves some simple customizing. Once again, I’m working in software and with a project this basic, you could get a similar result at your sewing machine.

When overlapping designs, you’ll need to think about extra layers of stitching, how it will affect your project, and what can be done about it. Thread is not ink! Overlapping designs can be a huge problem.

We’re stitching on a purchased sweatshirt. Fleece requires some different considerations from the stable wovens we’ve worked with up to this point so obviously we’ll need to address that as well. For example, fleece is thick and spongy, not to mention stretchy.… Read the rest

Multimedia Carnation

Month seven’s topic in the Echidna PIE Embroidery Training Series is color theory and adding color via other media. I’ve used all sorts of media including paint, ink, pens, crayons, paintstick, and dyes.

For this project, we’ll use colored pencils since they’re inexpensive, easy to use, readily available, and require no cleanup or special prep.

Redwork designs offer an easy way to get into coloring embroidery. If you’ve ever colored in a coloring book, you can do this. And, it’s even easier—the lines are raised!

There are two birth month flowers for January. The Carnation, used for Australia, an addition to being the first birth month flower of the year is also the first-anniversary flower.

Carnations can be found in a wide range of colors, and while in general, they express love, fascination and distinction, virtually every color carries a unique and rich association.

The alternate birth month flower is the snowdrop which symbolizes new beginnings and hope because they typically bloom at the end of winter and announce the approach of spring.

I’ve used the Australian flowers for all the projects in this series. The projects are designed be used with any appropriate design. Even if you don’t make the actual project, I encourage you to try out the techniques—you’ll learn so much!… Read the rest

Poinsettia & Holly 3D Embroidered Corsage

Yes, you read that right! This corsage was created from the December Holly & Poinsettia birth month flower applique design.

As we progress through the Echidna PIE Embroidery Training Series, we build on past lessons to expand our techniques and creativity and move beyond basic “plop and drop” mentality.

To create the corsage, I’ll show you how to edit a design even if you only have customizing software to create a design that can be stitched on organza and made into a corsage, just in time for the holiday season!


Designed and made by Lindee Goodall (11/30/2014)

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U.S. BOM Birth Month Flowers of the Year

I think of all the projects I’ve done so far, this is the one I’m most proud. I love the way the colors turned out and the quilting done by Nubin Jensen is just phenomenal! It even won second place in our annual guild show.

I designed and digitized the appliques, which represent the birth month flowers of the year. You can see the sister version, done in a more contemporary color palette with the Australian version.


Designed and made by Lindee Goodall (10/15/2014)

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Chrysanthemum Continuous Pillow Wrap

The chrysanthemum is the November birth month flower and also the thirteenth wedding anniversary flower. In general, chrysanthemums symbolize cheerfulness, optimism, wonderful friendship, and enduring love.

This month’s Echidna PIE Training Series lesson is on creating and stitching continuous borders. If you browse through all the projects in the gallery, you’ll find several that have continuous border designs and one that goes crazy with repeats around the perimeter of a cape.

You can make a continuous design out of almost any combination of designs. I like to stick to designs that only have a few colors to keep things simpler at the machine. Also, I like to plan the design so that I’m not having to mirror the designs for the next hooping—just too darn easy to mess up!

This is month 5 and in this lesson, I show you how to build and plan a continuous border design. In some ways, we’re expanding on lesson 2, Perfect Placement.

To keep our project simple, we’ll make a continuous design to embroider on a pillow wrap. While you could do it with paper cut-outs to plan placements, I’ll show you how to do it in a customizing program.

Of course, I’ll be using Embrilliance Essentials and I’m sure you can use a very similar process in other programs.… Read the rest

Aster Quilt Block Portfolio

One of September’s birth flowers is the aster, which in Greek means star and represents love, faith, wisdom and symbolizes valor according to some sources or strength, immunity, and integration according to others.

The other flower is the morning glory, which symbolizes affection.

In this third month of the Echidna PIE Embroidery Training Series, I was asked to design a project using the Starfish Revolution software from Echidna. This program lets you combine and carousel designs and then can print out a layout.

Yes, there are other programs that do similar things. This one works out the hoopings and angles for each section if the design is larger than your sewing field. So this month we’ll be expanding on what we learned about perfect placement in month 2.

To keep the stitching down, I chose to work with some of the single elements in the redwork style to build a large medallion and then drop in a monogram.

This is the same intertwined monogram I used on another project a few years back. Create your intertwined monogram and you’ll find lots of places to use it!

If you’re a quilter, you’ll love this oversized portfolio. It’s perfect for toting projects to bees or classes and you’ll have pockets to carry and protect all those unwieldy rulers.… Read the rest

Gladiolus Tote Bag

August’s birth flower is gladiolus, or “sword lily.” Gladiolus represents remembrance, calm, integrity, and infatuation.

With gladiolus, the recipient’s heart is being “pierced with love.” Striking and colorful with a towering stem, which come in a wide range of colors, gladiolus is also the 40th wedding anniversary flower. They evoke the drama of Roman gladiators.

The other August flower is the poppy. A red poppy signifies pleasure, a white poppy is given for consolation, and a yellow poppy wishes wealth and success.

This tote bag project is month 2 in the Echidna PIE Embroidery Training Series. The focus this month is perfect placement.

The full-size designs in the Birth Month Flower of the Year Block of the Month series are targeted for a 200 x 200mm sewing field (“8 x 8 hoop”). However, I’ve also planned and split these designs so that they can be stitched in a 130 x 180mm (“5 x7 hoop”) sewing field.

Getting the pieces back together seamlessly can be a challenge and this is the lesson where I provide details on how you can build designs larger than your machine can sew. I have some favorite tricks and tools to share that can help you get perfect results.… Read the rest

Larkspur Pillow Topper

This was the first project in a year-long embroidery education program I designed for Echidna Sewing in Australia. Based on the Birth month flowers of the year block of the month series, each month I covered a new embroidery topic and created a project to apply those new skills and techniques.

Each month’s download included a lesson, a project with instructions, and the designs used in the project. That series is now complete and has been bundled into one product, Echidna PIE, A Year of Flowers.

Since the ultimate project in the coordinating block of the month series, Birth Month Flowers of the Year, is a Baltimore album style applique quilt, we started with a simple applique project so that participants could be stitching their blocks each month as we went.

This month’s project comes with the applique version of the Australian July Birth Month Flower, Larkspur.

I stitched my pillow topper with the applique version on one side and the redwork or quilting version on the other. (Quilted version is not included with the project files.) This gives me a reversible cover.

This pillow topper concept is one of my favorite techniques because one pillow can get a fresh new look just by changing out the tie-on topper.… Read the rest

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