Samplier Tote

I’m the proud owner of a new sewing machine, a Janome Memory Craft 11000. As a simple first project on it I decided to make a tote bag.

Samplier Tote 1

I cut out 2 rectangles of fabric and ironed a stabilizer onto the back of one piece. On this piece I pinned roughly where the bag would be folded so I knew which way the sides would face when finished. I did the same stitch at both the ends and bottom fold on each side of the bag. From there I was able to get an idea of the area I had to fill with stitches. I didn’t mark out any lines just eyeballed where to sew. I then experimented with the different machines stitches. This bag will be given as a gift for a 6 year old so I used some of the fun pictures stitches like elephants and cats as well as a variety of other stitches. With over 300 stitches on the machine I had plenty to choose from. The handles have the same flower stitch on both them.

To stitch up I sandwiched the handles between the stitched piece and the other rectangle. I stitched around the outside backstitching over each handle for extra security. I then turned the piece right side out through a turning gap on the side. I slipped stitched the gap closed then folded the bag in half with the embroidered sides facing. I did 2 rows of straight stitch up each side before turning bag correct side out.

Samplier Tote 2

I almost want to keep this bag for myself. Its turned out really cute. I was surprised at how well I eyeballed the stitching lines. Most are spot on. I’m going to try this idea again some time. It was a great way to experiment with all the different machine stitches. I wanted to play with the new machine but actually make an item at the same time.


Winter Secrets – Hearts Entwined

Flicking through the latest issue of Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine (Vol 23 No 8) a project really jumped out at me. Winter Secrets by Cinzia White. Its a table centrepiece / runner that is a giant hexagon. It is made up of 7 blocks. Each block is hexagon stitchery containing 7 hexagon designs. Its all just straight shapes and lines. It looks amazing. I’m a very geometric person and I love hexagons so that’s why I think I was drawn to it immediately. I’ve decided to make it but in true style I’m adding my own twist to it.

Winter Secrets

This first block is called Hearts Entwinded. I’m only tracing one block out at a time.

Drawing Original

In Cinzia’s design on each block the 7 mini hexagon designs are each a different colour. I’ve decided to do the entire stitchery in one colour. I brought a heap of embroidery threads a few weeks ago and I hope I have enough for the entire project or I’ll be hunting down that colour towards the end. It looks great multi-coloured but in my mind I can picture it in one colour. Also I’m not tracing out all the blocks by hand I’m going to use the drawing feature on my ScanNCut machine.

Drawing Attempt 2

This is going to be a looong term project for me. I’m going to work on it when I can but I’m not pushing myself to finish it. I will finish it no matter how long it takes. All other projects will take precedent but when I just want to pick up something and do a couple of minutes of back stitching I’ve got something already to go. Every stitch counts. Every stitch is relaxing. I don’t do a lot of projects for me but this, this is mine.

Aftermath Of Frustration

So after struggling to get my ScanNCut machine to behave how I wanted I decided to go back to basics.

Drawn Letters

Using my lightbox I traced the letters in reverse onto the fabric. Years ago at a newsagency I picked up a document display lightbox very cheap. I didn’t want to pay the price of a crafting lightbox if I didn’t know if I would use it or not. When my current lightbox dies I will happily pay for a proper craft one cause I can’t imagine life without one now.

I traced out all the letters in one hit however I did do them in order so I could cut out one set of letters for each set of baby blocks as I did them. The next step will be to applique them on by hand. I will blanket stitch around them whilst watching tv. They don’t take long to do. I’ve started one batch already.

Applique Letters

The Frustrated Crafter

This afternoon I’m a very frustrated crafter. I can’t get my ScanNCut machine to cut like I want it to do.

ScanNCut Failure

I’m trying to cut out some letters so I can applique them for baby blocks. My fabric is all prepped with the Vilesofix stuck to it. When I load my cutting mat into the machine it moves around and therefore isn’t cutting properly. I’ve tried reloading it several times still no luck. My fabric appears to be sticking to the mat but as soon as it comes to cutting my fabric shifts around. You can’t tell by the photo but the letters are only half cut then the fabric has shifted. The fabric is a fairly thickish cotton and plus with the added Vilesofix it is very sturdy and therefore shouldn’t move about. I’ve adjusted my cutting pressure as per a Tip Sheet I got from Brother but still having trouble. I need to cut fabric in 5 different colours. So far I’ve wasted this piece of yellow so will now have to cut another piece and prep it again. Normally I have trouble working with Vilesofix but today it is being my friend but my cutting machine isn’t. I really wanted to get these letters done today so I can start hand appliqueing them over the coming weeks. I’m very tempted to get out my Sizzix Cutting machine and do them through that but I can’t have alternate colours with that like I can with my ScanNCut.

I’m actually thinking last resort might be get out my lightbox and trace them the old fashion way. I have 3 sets of letters to do this could take a while…

2nd Attempt Drawing With Brother ScanNCut

Drawing Attempt 2


Take 2 on the drawing with Brother ScanNCut. After my 1st attempt at drawing I did things a little differently second time around. This time I cut my fabric and stabilizer down so they easily fitted within the grid on the scanning mat. I scanned my background fabric in first so I could see the placement of the design on the actual fabric. It fed through the machine with ease this time. The pen drew easily and I just sat back and watched it do its magic. I was at first thinking that it had missed some of outside of the design until I looked at the paper design once it was finished and realised that the outside lines it had drawn were actually the sides of the cut paper pattern I’d scanned into the machine. Also there is a few odd marks in the middle which I realised was where there the paper pattern had staple marks or fold lines. As the ink will wash out it doesn’t matter they are there however next time I might delete them like I did a label that was on the original paper pattern.

So important things to remember when drawing onto fabric

  • Ensure your fabric is within the gridlines so that it feeds easy
  • Use the blue marking pen if you want the drawn picture to stay on your fabric for any length of time as the purple pen only lasts a couple of days
  • If possible delete any sections and lines you don’t want the machine to draw in
  • Relax its not a scary process and with the water soluble and air soluble pens any mistakes will disappear


Washing Out ScanNCut Blue Marking Pen



After my 1st attempt at drawing with my ScanNCut machine I backstitched around one shape to use as a test piece to see how easily the blue marking pen would wash out. I’ve never used an erasable marker so I contacted Brother to ask how to do it as in the box there is no instructions and I couldn’t find anywhere on the net that said it. The staff were really helpful and told me that I could either wash it out in warm or cold water and use detergent.



I decided to rinse it under cold water and was amazed at how the ink just disappeared in front of my very eyes. I was like a kid watching a magic trick as it was that instant. People who are used to using water soluble markers would probably think nothing of this but as mentioned I’ve never done it before and was worried at what and how to do. I’m really happy now cause I can go ahead with the project I have in mind now.