Having fun with Book Collector

Hi everyone,

I did it almost twice now: I bought a book that I already have! So I have been searching for a program where I could scan the ISBN bar codes of all my books and let those go into a database. Well, I found the perfect program:

Book Collector from Collectorz.com

I bought the small laser scanner with it and started scanning the first shelf.

This is so much fun. Although the program doesn't find all my books (some of my quilt books are really old and not in print anymore and some front covers are missing), it is still worthwhile to get it all organized.

There's still a lot to be scanned, but once that is done, I can take the database with me and prevent that I buy the same book twice :)

(not affiliated with collectorz.com, just a happy customer)

Art and Stitch Retreat in Birmingham, UK

Hi everyone,

We had a great time in Birmingham! A small class, two days and lots of work done. Geoff and Liz and the staff of The Cotton Patch were wonderful hosts.
To get a very good impression of the class look at the photos Liz made and placed on The Cotton Patch Facebook page:

ArtandStitch Workshop

We are one week home now and then our last trip this year will start, to the Art and Stitch Retreat in Brighton, Michigan, then to MQX West in Portland, Oregon.

For our teaching schedule see page

See you :)



Teaching schedule - sky rocketing

Hi everyone,

A lot has happened in the past weeks. Our Art and Stitch software is becoming very, very popular: the product is now bundled with ABM Innova's AutoPilot, with CompuQuilter, and Handi Quilter's ProStitcher.

That makes us (well, our classes of course) pretty popular. To give you an idea:

* Our classes have been added to the Milwaukee Machine Quilting Show next week.

* The Cotton Patch will be hosting the first European Art and Stitch Retreat at their Studio in Birmingham, in September.

* Yesterday we had a confirmation that the folks of the Road to California show in January have managed to squeeze us into their class schedule. Online Registration will open in a few days.

* In June next year we will organize another 2-day Art and Stitch Retreat: in Nashville, Tennessee.

You can find our updated teaching schedule on our webpage

Here are some images to give you an idea what you can draw after attending our classes (even if you think you can't draw at all):

So check out our schedule and join us in one of the many classes!

Loes (packing for Milwaukee as I am writing this - yep, multitasking overhere)


Theo in Iceland

Hi everyone,

This is my first "off topic" post. But, it's my blog so I can write anything I like.
Theo is currently on a photo tour to Iceland, together with two friends of the Dutch Nikon club they are traveling with a 4 wheel drive jeep through the rough nature of Iceland. He is having a wonderful time and here I am sharing some photos he took last night at about midnight (at this time of year it doesn't get dark that far north).

Isn't it beautiful how flowers find a way to grow anywhere?

And, just because I can't help myself, I am going to make this quilt-related. Can you see how these flower leafs could be a nice background filler? Opened as a background in Art and Stitch and traced with the 3pt arc tool:

Voila! Background filler :)

Having fun overhere with Theo's fun overthere!



Art and Stitch Retreat in Salt Lake City

Hi everyone,

I am thrilled to announce that our next Art and Stitch Retreat will take place in Salt Lake City on August 16 and 17 2011!

August 17 is my birthday, so that is a perfect sign.
During this two days event we will offer lots and lots of hands-on computer classes, so after this retreat Art and Stitch will have no secrets for you.
All classes are included in the Retreat registration fee.

You can register via our website:

This will be super!

If you can't make it to Salt Lake City, then check out the other classes we will be teaching at the big quilting shows:

Hope to see you soon!



Vest number two finished

Hi everyone,

OK, the white vest is ready. The two magna-glide bobbin samples were sufficient for the entire project (the second bobbin even lasted for another small project on my longarm, a cover for my new Pandigital Novel eBook reader, designs, combined with applique done on the longarm. Will make some photos and post tomorrow).

Here are the photos of the finished vest number two:



Vest number two

Hi everyone,

First of all: thank you all so much for being at MQX in Providence and telling me you saw the vest in my blog. I was really happily surprised that so many people saw it and came to see the real vest in our booth!

The vest is very nice to wear: because of the extra thin batting it has a nice "embroidered" look. On our website I mentioned that with Art and Stitch and a computerized longarm machine, you have the biggest embroidery hoop ever. Well my vest proved that that is so true.

Because of the beautiful, sunny, but chilly weather overhere right now, I decided I wanted another vest, more of a quilted look. And it has to be very neutral so I can wear it with any skirt or jeans. So guess what, while I am typing this, my longarm system is humming away on a new vest: white on white. I am using Glide thread and Magna Glide bobbins (FilTec). I got two bobbin samples at MQX and I keep my fingers crossed that those two are sufficient to complete the white vest. Then I will stock up during MQS.

In a few days we are packing and leaving again for the next trip: MQS Kansas Overland Park.
If you haven't signed up for our Art and Stitch classes, do it now: seatings are limited and they are filling up as we speak.
See page http://www.pre-designstudio.com/mqs2011.htm

After MQS we will be teaching at Shirley Higginbotham's Classic Quilt Studio in Claksburg, WV. I believe that there are still a few openings there, but I'm not sure. Contact Shirley if you want to sign up:

If time permits (and with a two days event, we will surely find time), I can show you how to bring a fitted vest pattern into Art and Stitch, ready to fill with designs to sew on your computerized longarm. So for those of you who signed up for the event at Shirley's: bring a paper pattern of your favorite vest and we will turn that into an Art and Stitch pattern.

I know I should use black thread on white fabric so that the photos are better for this blog, but I really need a white on white vest first :)



Jacket / Vest Project: finished project

Hi everyone,

The final vest is ready - just in time for our trip to MQX show in Providence, RI.

After quilting the first version I changed a couple of things: In the first version, the quilting patterns are open and I used a normal batting. Both together resulted in a "winter-type" vest, which is somewhat too thick for this spring. So I changed the patterns, resized them and used more intricate feather patterns. I used patterns from Sharon Shamber and from Judy Allen, digitized in Art and Stitch, and some of my own Art and Stitch patterns. In combination with a thinner batting this made the result flatter.

I connected all designs for the front parts into one object. The back consists of 7 separate patterns. I saved all pattern pieces in one file for the quilt system.
Started quilting the front parts.
When advancing the quilt, I kept the needle in the fabric, rolled the quilt and just realigned.

The photos below show the result.
So, come to our booth at MQX next week, or take one of our classes and see the real
vest :)

See class descriptions at


This is an image of the Print Preview in Art and Stitch: both front patterns are in one color. The back part consists of multiple colors (stops to cut thread). The lines around the patterns are the seam allowance, stitched too, making it very easy to cut the pattern pieces and sew together:

Here's the pattern on the frame:

The result:

Detail of collar:

Detail of pattern:


Jacket / Vest Project: quilting

Hi everyone,

Today I finished the layout in Art and Stitch, changed the sewing order by moving the patterns in the Sequence View panel assigned stitches and sent it to my quilt system -
as one pattern, even though it was larger than the 20 inch throat space. During the quilt process, I have paused the machine, kept the needle down and rolled the quilt. Then realigned and proceeded. Very easy to do.
I have stitched the sample and will finish it, so that I can adapt the final version.

It will be a week before I have time to finish it, but so far I am happy with the outcome :)



Jacket / Vest Project: playing with designs

Hi everyone,

Here's a little update of my Jacket/Vest project. Today I had again some time to play with the layout of the back in Art and Stitch. Most of it is ready. Every color (except for the yellow flowers) is a continuous pattern now. I only have to connect these flowers and then it is ready to be quilted. I plan to do freemotion through the contours of the pattern, to compensate for any draw-in caused by the quilting. Once it is off the system, I will put the paper pattern on it to cut it out.
Having fun here :)

Information about Art and Stitch can be found at http://www.artandstitch.com



Art and Stitch and Electric Quilt

Hi everyone,

I just finished a movie showing how to export images from a quilt top in Electric Quilt and use them in our Art and Stitch software to layout a full quilt for your longarm quilt system.

Hope you like it!


P.S.: the movie can also be watched at our artandstitch.tv website, tab Special Techniques:


Jacket / Vest Project: playing with designs

Hi everyone,

Here's a little update. I have locked the vest pattern to the design page so that I cannot accidentally resize or move it and now I am playing with the layout of the vest pattern. I have placed various designs and I will keep moving them around, probably draw some tulips. When the rough layout is finished I am going to connect the various parts, to be sewn in two passes. Main part first and the feather border last.



How to design a quilted vest

Hi everyone,

I am working on a new project: a sleeveless jacket/vest, quilted with freemotion style patterns. Here's the step by step so far.

1. Take your favorite jacket/vest pattern and place it on a cutting board, or anything else with a grid showing. Place a ruler plus measurement tape straight on the pattern (this will be your reference/resizing help line)

2. Make a photo of it and be sure that the grid measurements are showing. Pattern must be straight on the board, photo must be taken in a straight angle, so that the measurements are not skewed or distorted.

3. Open the photo as a Backdrop in Art and Stitch. Draw a straight line over the ruler in the photo, for example from zero to 11.5. Select and Resize that straight line in Properties Panel > tab Transform, so that it becomes the actual size the ruler is showing (in this example I used 11.5). Before hitting Apply look at the percentage of this resizing.
Select the Backdrop by clicking on the Backdrop tool in the Artwork toolbar and resize it by the same percentage (Properties > Transform). Now the background image is the actual size. Make it a little lighter - is easier to trace.

4. Take the Line or Curve tool and trace the pattern piece. Save. I also saved it via menu Tools > Save Custom Shape in my own folder. That way I can make tons of jackets using this "Custom Shape".

Repeat for all pattern pieces.

5. Open a new design page and open the first pattern piece. Start filling with designs! I started by putting some feather designs (from the Custom Shapes Library > folder Judy Allen Feathers) at the edges of the pattern.

6. I opened a photo of my own freemotion work as a backdrop. I am going to trace and draw my freemotion patterns inside my vest pattern and let the computer stitch it for me. That way I am sure that the stitchout is perfect and it will still be my very own freemotion design :)

Your ideas, tips and help how to get my jacket perfect are more than welcome !


Information about Art and Stitch (and a trial version) can be found at


I can't draw - class handout and videos uploaded

Hi everyone,

Our webinar of last Saturday (feb 26 2011) was a "full house"! It was fun to show how quick and easy you can turn your doodles into beautiful quilt patterns with our Art and Stitch vector drawing software.

Meanwhile I have uploaded the videos of all three techniques shown in Saturday's class, a class handout and as requested during the webinar, the set of my doodle quilting patterns.

Take a look on page:


Print the doodle page in the class handout a couple of times and start doodling. Remember, just one rule: start on one sharp point of the triangle and end in the other sharp point. Then let Art and Stitch do the hard work for you.

If you don't have the program yet, get it here:

Hope to *see* you again in the next webinar.



I can't draw - not true! Another teaser

Hi everyone,

Here's another preview of what to expect in the next webinar for Art and Stitch. These patterns are all very, very doable in Art and Stitch and in the webinar of Saturday February 26 2011 I will show you how to do this (even if you really can't draw!)

You will love it! So if you didn't purchase Art and Stitch yet, don't wait any longer. Visit our website:

*See* you Saturday Feb 26



Webinar and time zones

Hi everyone,

Here is the link to join our webinar of February 26, 2011:


To avoid any confusion: 9:00 CET is our "Central European Time". On the webinar page there's a link to convert the webinar time into your own time. Click on that link and scroll down. Click on the line showing your time zone and the webinar time (under the title "I can't draw") will show your time. Make a note of it because you don't want to miss this one :)


In the image below you can see how to find your own time zone:


I can't draw - not true! Just a little teaser

Hi everyone,

I am working hard on the preparation of the next webinar. And you know what "working hard" means? Playing, just playing with the Art and Stitch software :)
Here's another drawing that is very easy to make. It's a continuous quilt pattern, one start, one stop. So join the webinar and you can do this too.



I can't draw - not true!

Hi everyone,

Theo and I are working on the new webinar for February. Theme will be "I can't draw". Many people who consider purchasing our Art and Stitch software tell us that there's just one hurdle: they can't draw.

In the new webinar we will show how to use the many tools and functions in Art and Stitch in a - sometimes surprising - way that even if you think you can't draw, you will be able to create beautiful quilting patterns.

We will announce the webinar in our Art and Stitch Yahoogroup early next week and place a link to join the new online class.
Don't miss the announcement and join the Art and Stitch Yahoogroup here:

OK, let me cook up some nice patterns for this webinar!



Tutorial: How to create a Rays in Art and Stitch

Thanks for joining our webinar yesterday! As promised here is a video showing how to create continuous rays patterns in Art and Stitch. It just takes a few minutes and the result will be a continuous path, no overstitching, one start, one stop.


How to create a continuous "rays" design in Art and Stitch

Tomorrow we will have a webinar for Art and Stitch. It will be a general overview for those who are new to the program. If you downloaded the software over the past month, you will have received an invitation.
As creating arays design like the pattern below is so easy in our Art and Stitch software, I will explain in the webinar how to do this.

*see* you tomorrow.


Webinar Art and Stitch Sunday Jan 30

As we have had requests to organize a webinar with a general overview of Art & Stitch Theo has planned a webinar on Sunday January 30 at 09.00 PM our European time.

Here is the link to register to this webinar.


In the window where you will type your name and Email address you can also click on the link on the right side of the screen which will show you the time in YOUR timezone.

"See" you in class

Theo and Loes van der Heijden


A Big Welcome

A new experience, by first blog.
A couple of days ago I created our Artistitch Facebook page, only to find that what I really wanted was a page where I can share tips and tricks, photos and links to videos for our two vector drawing programs: Pre-Design Studio III and our flagship software Art and Stitch.
So, I created this new blog for the actual tips and tricks text and the photos and will link to this blog from the Facebook page.

Stay tuned for the real content to be added in the near future :)