January 16, 2020

Sampler Embroidery Patterns

 I could look at pictures of antique samplers, some stitched by very young girls, all day long.  I too learned how to embroider when I was little although my stitches looked nothing like those beautiful antique ones.
I recently started designing my own take on samplers and I've become a bit obsessed.  The first one I designed is called Home Sampler.

The images in Home Sampler reflect several different "homes" from beehives to birds nests.  

For Quilt Sampler I picked out some of my favorite sewing related items.

Hooray for the Red, White, and Blue!  

The day slips away so fast when I'm out in my garden

Snow is so magical!  It makes everything so quiet and peaceful.

Sweet memories of childhood Valentine's parties.

Each pattern has numerous stitches, some are standards like the stem stitch and the lazy daisy.  There are also a few stitches that might be new to you like the woven wheel or the fishbone stitch.  Because some of the stitches might not be as familiar as others, I have made a YouTube stitch-along tutorial for Garden Sampler, Snow Sampler, and Love Sampler.  
My goal is to make YouTube tutorials for all of my new patterns - it's always good to have a goal, right?

Happy Stitching!
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October 3, 2019

Moda Schoolhouse Blog Hop - I Can Make That!

Are you doing the HOP?  The Moda blog hop that is.  If you are, then you have already collected several FREE 18" quilt block patterns.  Today I would like to share my block with you.  I stitched this up from my new fabric line, Home, which is in shops now.


I tried to use as many of the fabrics as I could in this block!  I also added a splash of red to really make it pop.  The nice thing about this fabric line is that about any accent color looks great with it!  How about a nice eggplant or olive?  

Nothing makes a house a home like a nice comfy pillow, so that is what I made with my block.

Here is your free pattern compliments of Moda -

 Tomorrow will be the last day of the HOP.  Please visit Zen Chic and Deb Strain to collect the last 2 blocks.  I hope you have had a great time following along!
If you missed any, here are links to the other designers -

September -

23rd - Lella Boutique and Sherri & Chelsi 
24th - Kansas Troubles 
25th - Crystal Manning and Me & My Sister
26th - Jan Patek
27th - Robin Pickens and Corey Yoder
28th - BasicGrey
 October -
1st - Betsy Chutchian and Lisa Bongean
2nd - American Jane 
 3rd - Kathy Schmitz
4th - Zen Chic and Deb Strain

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December 15, 2018


I'm usually not too concerned about the appearance of the back of my embroidery.  I usually make so many knots and "travel" so much it looks like a beautiful macrame back there.  I might be exaggerating a tiny bit. 

Anyway, when I stitch up a tea towel I have to change my thinking and take the time to make the backside as presentable as possible. There are two methods I like to use to stitch without knots.  One is called using a "Waste Knot".  The other has no name I'm aware of so I'll call it "Double Up".

Waste Knot -
Using 2 strands of floss

1. Tie a knot at one end of your floss.
2. Thread the other end onto your needle (I like to use an embroidery needle size 8).
3. From the topside pull the needle down about 4" from the starting point of the embroidery.
4. Start stitching as usual until there is about 4" of thread left on your needle.
*leave the slack from the knot to the starting point.
5. On the backside thread the needle through several of the previous stitches.
6. Cut off the excess thread.

7. Cut off the knot and pull the thread to the backside.
8. Thread the floss onto the needle and weave it under existing stitches as you did in step #5 above.

Double Up -
Use 1 strand of floss

1. Cut a length of floss 2x the length you need.
*I usually stitch with a length of about 24" so I would cut this about 48", but I never measure exactly
2. Fold the floss in half to form a loop.
3. Thread the cut ends onto the needle.

4. Pull the needle up from the backside at your starting point being careful not to pull the thread all of the way through.
5. Pull the needle to the backside about 1/8" away.
6. Thread the needle through the loop on the backside and pull gently to secure.
7. Start stitching!

When you start your next length of floss simply thread the needle through several of the existing stitches.

The embroidery design I'm working on in these examples is a One Stitch at a Time design. One Stitch at a Time is a super cool monthly embroidery club.  On the 1st of every month, a brand spankin' new 6" x 6" embroidery design is emailed directly to you.  Every month a lucky member will win a fun prize too.
2019 brings out first quilt challenge contest!  There are many prizes from the generous folks at Moda, Martingale, and more! Join anytime, it's only $2 a month and it will bring you $5 or more of joy : )
For more information click on the "CLUBS" button in the right column.

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August 29, 2018

Playing with color

My color pencils have been calling me.  I pulled a few of them out of their dusty storage box and started playing around on fabric.  Combining a touch of color to an embroidery piece is reminiscent of those old time tea towels.  There is something comforting in the soft, storybook, look.
This was my first attempt and won't be my last!  I thought I would share how I went about it.  I would love to hear your tips and tricks for using colored pencil of fabric!

1. I copied my embroidery (with the design reversed) onto the paper side of freezer paper.
Then I ironed the wax side of the freezer paper to the back of my fabric.
 I printed the design on my inkjet printer but it can also be traced, just don't use a laser printer.

2.  Using a lightbox, I traced the design onto the fabric.  The freezer paper stabilized the fabric and makes tracing super easy.
I like to use the Pilot FriXion pen for tracing.  The lines disappear with the heat of an iron.

3. With the freezer paper still on the back of the fabric I used Prismacolor colored pencils to fill in the areas I wanted colored.  I started off with a dull point on the pencil and I used a light touch and gradually filled the areas in.

4. Next I removed the freezer paper and using 1 strand of Sulky 12wt black thread I embroidered the design.  I found that the color faded quite a bit with handling while stitching.  I still like it, but it seems a bit too washed out.

5. I decided to add more color.  FIRST I ironed the freezer paper back onto the wrong side of the fabric.  This is really important and helpful for me.  When coloring after stitching it works best to point your pencil toward the stitching.  

6. I think the added color really made a big difference.  For the nest I made marks rather than a smooth filled in look.  That worked well with the feel of the nest.  I also added some brown marks on the eggs to give them some character.

7. With a small paint brush I applied a small amount of Medium to the areas that were colored in.  Let this try thoroughly.  Follow this up with a dry, hot iron and it's set!

This little design is one that I created for my One Stitch at a Time monthly embroidery club.  On the 1st of every month members receive a new design by email and someone in the club wins a SUPER DUPER GIVE AWAY just for being a member!  The designs are usually around 4" - 6" in size.  There isn't a beginning and end to this club so join anytime!  Past designs are also available for purchase separately.  If you would like more information please visit my website (for those in the US) HERE.  If you live outside of the US please visit my Etsy shop HERE.

Happy Stitching!

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November 18, 2017

All in a Row...Again

Martingale and the Moda designers have done it again!  When we collaborated on All in a Row it was so much fun we had to do it .... again! (get it?  All in a Row Again...)

I am so honored to be a part of this lovely book.  This book is supporting a wonderful charity.

Give Kids the World Village helps children with life-threatening illnesses enjoy weeklong, cost-free vacations with their families. Together, the designers are donating royalties from the book’s sales to benefit this charity.

The book is broken down into four themes - Flowers and Trees, Buildings and Houses, Critters and Creatures, and Classic Patchwork.  I jumped on the Critters and Creatures theme : ) By combining my love of embroidery and simple patchwork I created  a row I call Autumn Wind.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did stitching it up!

This book is filled with so many wonderful rows.  One of my favorites is Midnight in the Woods by Alma Allen or Blackbird Design.  The owls and against the full moon and the dark background really make this row come to life.  I can almost hear the owls on a dark autumn night.

Another fun row is Sandy Klop's Beach Houses.  I LOVE the beach!  I want to step in this row Sandy created.  I can almost feel the ocean breeze on a hot summer day.

Jen Kingwell's row, called Pollen , is full of quirky little blooms which are right up my alley.  Anything quirky and off kilter speaks to me.  I love her choices.  There is something soft and springy about them.  I think I smell a spring garden!

Martingale would love to give one of you an  Ebook!  For your chance to win a copy of this new book leave a comment with the theme you like best.  I will draw a winner, at random, on November 20th at 9am pacific time.  Good luck!
Thank you all for the comments!  The winner is Kim and I have sent her a congratulatory email.

For more inspiration go to Martingale's on Facebook page. Click HERE to check it out. Moda and Martingale are teaming up to give away some wonderful prizes!  

This fun filled blog hop continues through November 24.  I am sharing today with my dear friend Deb Strain whooooo designed a darling row of owls called What a Hoot! Check out her post HERE.

Here is a schedule of all of the other friends and participants of this book and blog hop -

November 13

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July 13, 2017


When I'm ready to create something, I love having EVERYTHING I need to make it right at my fingertips.  Sometimes those things might be time-consuming to gather, so I thought I would design some fun, small, projects, assemble all the items needed, and offer them as kits.  The first kit is Feathered Friend and it's a magnetic needle keep necklace.  The fabric is pre-printed with the embroidery design, no tracing needed!  I have glued a super strong magnet to the inside of a large 2 1/2" button blank for you so it's ready to go.  Just stitch it up, cover the button, and sew the necklace cording on!  Everything you need is included in the kit.
Feathered Friend magnetic needle keep necklace
The next kit I have available is Bee Humble.  Bees are the true caretakers of my garden and I wanted to pay tribute to them with this little 3" x 8" hanging.  Everything is included in the kit, even the little wooden stick!
Bee Humble

If you would like to be notified when more kits are available please sign up for my newsletter by clicking on the link below

Click on the images, or HERE, to start shopping.

Have a wonderful day!
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June 5, 2017

Moda #12 Contest

Flutterby pincushion

Thank you so much for joining me! It's my turn to share my project for the Moda 12 Designers Contest!  If you haven't visited with me before, welcome.  I have the good fortune to design fabric for Moda and I also design quilt and embroidery patterns.  Hand embroidery is one of my favorite ways to spend my time so I hope you will indulge me for including embroidery in this project.  Of course, if you aren't a hand embroidery enthusiast this project lends itself to machine embroidery too.  So if you have some fun stitches on your machine that you've been wanting to play with now is the time!
My project for this contest is a crazy quilt pincushion.  I have always had a fondness for crazy quilts but so far I've never had the time to make one.  This little pincushion was just the right size to scratch that "crazy" itch I had.  I can't wait to see the variety of fun pincushions you all come up with!

The rules -
1. You need to use at least 5 different fabrics, most of which need to be from any of my past fabric lines.
2. Finished size should be 4" x 6".
3. Use at least 3 different embroidery stitches.
4. Post a picture of your crazy pincushion on Instagram using the tag #12contestskathyschmitz. If you don't have an Instagram account feel free to email a picture of your pincushion to me at SchmitzStitches@gmail.com
5. Have fun, be creative, show your personality!
6. Post your picture by JUNE 30th.

Prize #1 - Moda fabric!
On the 1st of July, I will randomly pick 5 winners from the posts and emails I receive. Moda is generously shipping these winners wonderful prizes!!!!

Prize #2 - One Stitch at a Time membership!
The first two people to post a picture of their pincushion on Instagram using #12contestsKathySchmitz will win a membership to my One Stitch at a Time club!
If you are already a member of the club you can gift this prize to a friend or add it to your subscription length.
Join the One Stitch at a Time club to receive a new design by email every month.  Below are a couple samples of previous designs.  We also have a very supportive Facebook group for sharing your projects.  There are nice prizes every month too!

Past One Stitch at a Time designs are also available for purchase HERE

Tips to get you started:
Start with the focal fabric.  I fussy cut a butterfly from Garden Notes Moda fabric.  Make sure to leave at least 1/2" around the design.  Cut 4 sides - any shape! Or, embroider a small design for your focal point and fussy cut around it.

Start adding the coordinating fabric.  Always start with a straight cut side.  Leave plenty of room on each side of the fussy cut piece. Use 1/4" seam allowance.

Flip and press.  Trim the extra following one of the sides of the fussy cut piece.

Add fabric to each of the remaining sides of the fussy cut piece.  Press and flip as before.  Continue until all 4 sides of the fussy cut piece are surrounded
For further instructions click HERE for a free download.

Once your pincushion is stuffed it will be ready to use!  BUT if you want to make it really special, you can take one more step and add a nice finishing touch.  I like to make my own cording using DMC floss and a Custom Cord Maker.  Not only is it pretty, but it's super fun to make the cording. 

custom cord maker
much better

Remember I mentioned prizes?  Make sure you post a picture of your pincushion, or email it to me, by June 30th to be eligible.
A big thank you to everyone that posted pictures of their lovely pincushions!  The winners were notified and Moda is sending them some nice prizes.  Thanks again!

Who's up next?
Up next in this 12 designers contest is Venessa Goertzen of Lella Boutique.  Make sure to visit her blog, lellaboutiue, on July 1st to join her contest.

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November 26, 2016

Buttermilk Basin Blog Hop

Thank you for visiting me!  I have designed a little Christmas wish to share with you.  My wish is for PEACE ON EARTH   
May your days be happy and bright this holiday season.

A Wish free pattern
Click HERE for your free pattern.

I think I bake more cookes this time of year than any other time!  One of my favorites is
the Snickerdoodle!  Here is my recipe for Snickerdoodle cookies if you are interested.
Click HERE for a printable version.

One Stitch at a Time club  

If you enjoy doing a little stitchery, you might also be interested in joining my One Stitch at a Time club!  For $2 a month you will receive a new embroidery design emailed directly to you.
We have a Facebook group page to share our embroidery too.
Below are a few of the past designs.  For more information click HERE!

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October 30, 2016

The Splendid Sampler

I am so happy to share my Splendid Sampler block with you today!  Thank you for taking the time to stop by my blog.  I LOVE  embroidery so when I designed my block I knew that would be the direction I would go.  I know how creative you all are and I'm hoping to see some amazing renditions of this block using applique and/or piecing.

For my design I wanted to share my love of all things hand made.  My hands are always busy, whether with needle and thread or with a paint brush (or snacking on popcorn).  One of the things on my bucket list is to make a crazy quilt so I wanted to honor that dream too!

Stitch Crazy pattern click HERE

*For tips on tracing/transferring your design onto fabric watch this quick YouTube video.

I've been adding a little embroidery to my blocks as I make them - 

One Stitch at a Time club

I'm hoping the embroidery blocks in the Splendid Sampler collection have you wanting to do more embroidery!  If you are looking for small (very doable) monthly projects, you might be interested in my One Stitch at a Time club.  Every month you receive a new design by email.  This is an ongoing club - start and stop whenever you want!  
For more information click HERE.
October #5 - Boo to You
To see an archive of past designs click HERE

I also offer a starter kit with the fabric and threads I'm using along with a small gift.  
Click HERE for more information

For a full listing of all my embroidery patterns please hop over to my website at

I hope you have a happy fall!

Best wishes,
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