The School Bears head back to school!

These little bears are having fun at school! You'll see them on denim, backpacks, lunch totes... they're starting to show up everywhere! Just click on the pictures below to see all seven designs in this adorable collection! Then, click here to order!

Hanging Garden Quilt

This beautiful quilt was created by Priscilla Madsen of Madsen Originals. The lace embroidery is spectacular! It was just published in the most recent issue of Designs in Embroidery Magazine.

I'd like to share some close-up pictures with you, so you can see the quality of the stitching. Click on the image to have it open on a new page. Then, click on the image again, and you will be able to see a larger version.

It was a real pleasure to do the quilting for this project! Priscilla is wonderful to work with -- and so talented!

Funky Native Art Embroidery

See all of the abstract art shapes in this fun and funky collection! These designs were featured in Creative Machine Embroidery Magazine -- July/August 2007 issue! Click on each picture to enlarge, and then click here to order!

Garden Party Quilt is a prize winner!

I posted pictures of a quilt called A Mother's Love last November, and have received many compliments on how beautiful it turned out to be.... but the real credit for this amazing quilt goes to a wonderful lady named Leslie Clarke. She spent countless hours piecing it, with applique and crystals in perfect proportion. She even added her own border to the entire edge that included more applique and crystals! This quilt was made with love for Leslie's daughter Nicole, and it was truly a labor of love. I had named the quilt A Mother's Love, but the actual name of the pattern is A Garden Party, and is available from Smith Street Designs. This past week, Leslie received word that she had won second place in a quilting contest for this quilt! Congratulations, Leslie! Here is part of the story that Leslie included with her entry:

"This quilt was my first quilting project on my new embroidery machine. When the instructor teaching the class on how to use the machine pattern became ill, I decided to forge ahead and also to really stretch and make the queen-size quilt. My daughter was moving to a new apartment, and -- since her favorite color is red -- it had to be for her!"

If you're anything like me, the first thing you think of when you are this happy is the Snoopy Dance theme song --- this music has been dancing around in my head ever since Leslie told me she won the prize!

Redwork Valentines!

It's the timeless story of romance. Boy meets girl... romance is in the air. These adorable redwork designs sew very quickly, and will bring you joy for years to come. Stitch them on felt squares, cut the edges with pinking shears, and tuck into an envelope or hang on a gift bag. Use in the center of quilt squares for a fast way to hold all of your layers together. All of the designs fit in the 4 by 4 hoop. Try these any time of year for a touch of sweetness. To purchase these designs, click here. Or, to purchase these designs and a quilted wall-hanging pattern, click here.

Placemats to embroider!


There have been lots of requests for these placemats, and we have various colors to choose from! Just think of what you can do with these! You can use them unadorned, and embroider them when you have some free time. You can make a set for yourself, and your best friend at the same time. You can turn them into book covers, cake or bread baskets, tote bags or make-up bags --- the possibilities are endless! 

This has been one of our top sellers in embroidery blanks! Check back often for new colors, or feel free to contact us with a specific request. You can also send in your own fabric --- this makes it easy for you to coordinate with your existing items! With custom orders, we will need a 2-3 week lead time to create your special items.

What you will receive with your order: Four placemats measuring 18 x 13 inches that are all in one large panel. You will have extra fabric surrounding the placemats that you can use to test your embroidery stitches, or painting techniques, or coloring ideas. You will be supplying your own binding fabric so that you can coordinate colors with your embroidery stitches or make a set of matching napkins. If you want the exact matching fabric for the placemats, please make sure to order it as a separate item.

Due to high demand, placemats are temporarily out of stock --- please check back soon.

The design that is embroidered on the peach placemat above is from A Design by Lyn and is called One by One. Thank you, Lyn!


This placemat features an adorable butterfly from Designs Sew Fine and is part of the Butterflies II collection.  A contrasting fabric was added to the edge of the placemat, and finished just like a small quilt. This is a great idea! You can make napkins to coordinate with your binding! Download a PDF with instructions now, and you can see how easy it is to create your own custom look!

Christmas Table Runner

I had so much fun doing the Christmas Mantel Scarf, and I wanted to use the pattern in a different way. The design is called Heirloom Lace. I turned the shapes sideways, and added some cross-hatching in the center section to highlight embroidery.

I used embroidery patterns from Carolyn Faulk at Embroidery Designs by Carolyn --- they stitched out beautifully. You could make one of these for each season, or for everyday use.

After all of the embroidery was complete, I made a facing for the table runner to hide the embroidery on the back. Then I added a cluney lace to the edges. You can click on each picture twice to see the largest version.

Now available! These table runners are available in kit form, so you will be able to add your own embroidery and edging trims! Click here to order!

Lou Ann from Maryland had this to say about her Table Runner Kit: "It is every bit as beautiful as I had expected.  My weekend project will be to finish it and put it on my table.  Thank you so much for your beautiful work!  Now, do I want to add a monogram to the small area like you suggested ………. add something to the middle ………. to the ends of the middle so I can use my candelabra.  I have a lot of thinking to do as I loved your suggestions – all of them!!!"

Growing Pains

We're currently adding the embroidery designs back to this site, and we are having a few growing pains. You can access the designs by clicking on the left side of the page where it says Embroidery store, or in the yellow box at the top of the page in the link that says The Embroidery Store is now open. When you arrive at the store, some of the individual designs are marked as Out of Stock. This is one of the growing pains that I mentioned, and our web master will be fixing this just as soon as he can. All of the designs are available for your shopping cart. Another growing pain is on the Collections page. You can see the name of the collection, but none of the individual designs that are in the collection. I've decided to feature two of the collections here, because they have a Christmas theme, and they are on sale right now!

Here are two of the collections --- the Christmas Train collection, and it's adorable stitched on a mantel scarf, and the Christmas Candles are wonderful on towels, table linens --- anywhere that you want a touch of applique and glitz:

Roses Galore!

Just as I finished picking the last roses of the season from my garden, I received this beautiful quilt top from Priscilla Madsen. I opened the box to see many gorgeous embroidered roses, and instantly I knew how I wanted to quilt this! I had been wanting to use a collection called "Carmen's Roses" from One Song Needle Arts, and this was the perfect time. With lots of bias piecing, and tons of red roses, I considered using stippling or hand-quilting to tame any puffiness that may occur after quilting. As it turned out I decided to combine both! The hand stitching is right next to the embroidery, which makes the roses stay a little bit closer to the surface.

This quilt was done with a Gammill machine and a Statler Stitcher, allowing the roses to be trimmed where necessary to fit in with the blocks that only had room for certain segments of the designs. If you enjoy machine embroidery, these red roses can be purchased through the Stitchery Mall .  Having seen this embroidery, I have to say that it is exquisite!

The quilting designs can be purchased from One Song Needle Arts, and can be seen here:

Boo Applique for Halloween!

I just received the cutest picture from Linda! She used the Boo Sign Applique and created an adorable wall-hanging!

What a creative idea, Linda!  Thanks so much for sending along the picture!

Amy sent along a picture of how she used the same design on treat bags. I just love this! Thanks, Amy!

The Boo Sign Applique is available as a single design, or as part of the Autumn Collection that is on sale right now. You will receive 18 designs for one low price!

Beer Mug Applique and Tablecloth

This pattern goes together very quickly, and gives you lots of open space in the center for adding embroidery and appliqué! There are only 14 blocks to piece, and two outer borders, so it will be on your table quickly.

For free directions to make this tablecloth project, write to us and you will receive a PDF file right away. Simply send an email to Robin@CandyAppleQuilts.com with "Free Tablecloth" in the subject line.

Click here to purchase the embroidery machine files for the beer mug applique pattern that I used in this project, it's available for instant download in DST, HUS, JEF, PES and SHV formats.

A Mother's Love

This quilt was one of my favorites to work with! Brought to me by a wonderful woman who embroidered every block, she told me the story of how she was making it for her daughter. It has more work, joy, and talent, and love than any other quilt I have had the honor of doing. Here is a picture of the entire quilt: Each block demanded different treatment, so we put our heads together, and came up with designs that incorporated hearts --- to play on the theme of love and family. My favorite: We added lots of hearts throughout the quilt, in many surprising places!

Receiving a hug from Leslie when this quilt was done was one of my happiest moments!

Stitching right over the embroidery!

Lots of people agree that sometimes it's just easier to keep stitching --- right over top of the embroidery! In the case of redwork designs, I think that's very true!

This quilt was done on a Gammill machine with a Statler Stitcher (computerized), and it would have been impossible to stop the machine for each tiny line that I crossed. The stitching is imperceptible on the redwork, and not a distraction at all.

The embroidery designs used in this quilt are from Bonnie Domeny at Threadlove Embroidery, and you can find the collection of all ten ballerinas here.

Embroidery on Quilts

Our school district was having a fund raiser for the Marching Band, and they wanted a quilt that they could raffle off. Being in Ohio, I thought that the best block pattern that I could use was the Ohio Star. I chose blue and gold for the school colors, and embroidery designs with a music theme to them. I always prefer to do the embroidery on the fabric before the blocks are assembled, because I don't want the bobbin stitches to show on the back of the quilt.

As a special touch, I digitized the school logo, and embroidered it for the block that would end up in the center of the quilt. You can see a close-up of the embroidered logo in the block.

My favorite stabilizer to use for this type of embroidery is a tear-away/wash-away. You can remove the bulk of it by tearing it away after you embroider, and then proceed to assemble the quilt. When the quilt is finished, the block is nice and soft. The stabilizer that does remain behind the stitches holds up well over time, and any extra stabilizer just washes away when the quilt is laundered.

Cross-Hatching Across Satin Stitches


This one was a bit of a challenge --- but then again, I just LOVE a challenge! I received an embroidered quilt top that just "demanded" to be cross-hatched in the center. I didn't want to stitch across any of the letters, because that would squash the satin stitches. I also didn't want to do tie-offs at every letter, though.... so I came up with this little technique for "cheating".

Do the cross-hatching as you normally would. Take a close look at the small photo that shows a close-up of the letter with the crystal in it. If you look at the blue satin stitch portion of the letter itself, you can see where I "jumped" over the blue portion of the letter during the cross-hatching process. The width of the jump stitch is less than 1/4 of an inch, but if I had stitched right through the letter, it would have crushed the satin stitches.

This was done with white thread, so as a result there were little tiny white jump stitches showing on most of the letters. I went to the fabric store, and bought a fine tip permanent fabric marker -- the kind with the tiny micron tip -- in exactly the same shade of blue as the letters. That's the most critical part -- matching the thread color.

Now, all you have to do is "color" the white thread that is laying on top of the satin stitches. The single thread will fade into the background of the satin stitches, and look just like another single stitch. On the back of the quilt, you will not want to cut those tiny stitches, or there will be some unraveling of your cross-hatching in the future.

For the jumps over the pink floral portion of the quilt, I did tie-offs, and started again on the other side.

And by the way, this alphabet is available from Platinum Embroidery! You will also be able to read a newsletter that has all of the instructions for making this wall-hanging project! Here's a link to the page that shows the entire collection:

Platinum Embroidery Make It Special Heirloom Collection

These letters stitch out beautifully! Enjoy!

Machine Applique part two

Here is another example of using embroidery and appliqué before the quilt is assembled. In this tablecloth, I appliquéd all of the small white squares first on the white tone-on-tone fabric, and then cut them to size and assembled each quilt square. The assembly of the quilt was much faster, because I was able to treat each appliquéd square just like a regular piece of the block. I know that I would have had a hard time trying to appliqué all of the squares if the quilt had already been assembled. I know lots of people who can do it that way, but I'm just not that brave! LOL!

Machine Applique

Machine embroidery is shown on this quilt in two different ways. I digitized the appliqué designs, and used a blanket stitch for the edges. I wanted the soft look that blanket stitches can give over time, with just a touch of fraying through the stitches. This quilt was for my daughter's sixteenth birthday -- I can't believe it's been 4 years ago already!

You can use any of your existing appliqué designs if you have the digitizing software to enable you to change the satin stitches along the outer edge to a blanket stitch. As I mentioned, the edges will fray just a tiny bit over time, but that adds a soft look to the quilt.

For the lettering, I embroidered on the white fabric before I assembled the quilt. All of the bobbin thread from the embroidery and the appliqué is hidden inside of the quilt layers.

This little lap quilt has seen a lot of hugging over the past four years, but it just gets better with age.

Paper Piecing

Lots of discussion has centered around the topic of adding embroidery to quilts --- and the main question is always "Do I make the entire quilt first and then add the embroidery, or do I embroider the pieces and then make the entire quilt?"

I prefer to embroider the individual pieces first, and then create the entire quilt. The embroidery process shrinks the pieces by pulling in on them. Your pieces should be embroidered first, and then cut to the proper size to accurately fit your quilt blocks.

In this example, the names of various boats and their owners were embroidered first on the red fabric. After pressing the pieces with a tiny bit of starch, I used them for the paper-piecing process on this quilt. This allowed me to use a tear-away/wash-away stabilizer that will add body to the lettering, but the bulk of the stabilizer (the part that was not under the lettering) will wash out of the quilt over time. Also, there will not be any bobbin thread from the embroidery showing on the back of the quilt.