counting bookI was idly flipping through my CREATIVE MACHINE EMBROIDERY magazine recently….I refer you to the MAY/JUNE 2013  issue  in which there are some great articles. One, in particular,  caught my eye… is a delightful little cloth book for a small child. The article is “Summer Countdown”. It has 1-10 with an embroidered picture for each number as well as front & back cover embroideries.  Krista Tracy of Little Airplane Designs digitized this project. I was very pleased to see that all 22 of the designs needed for the embroidered cloth book are downloadable for FREE until 30th June 2013 (so you will need to get moving on this quickly by going to purchase this issue of the magazine if you like the project as much as I do!). After 30th June you will be able to purchase the designs at

Below is the cover of the CREATIVE MACHINE EMBROIDERY magazine if you are looking for it at your local sewing store or wherever these magazines are sold. (I have a subscription so it comes to my door) I am sure you could also order direct from Creative Machine Embroidery at

CME may 2013

I used our NEW JANOME MC9900  to do the embroidery for this cute little book. Most of the designs are applique-in-the-hoop so the embroidery is relatively quick – I did it all during one weekend when I used the Janome MC9900 to make my little one a birthday gift! I used the SQ14a hoop so it is good to know that this project does not require enormous hoops nor a great amount of fabric & stabilizer. The SQ14a hoop has an embroidery field of approx. 5 1/2 inches square.   I used nice bright embroidery thread colours  – a good strong JANOME polyester embroidery thread which has the added advantage of being colour fast so if you do need to wash the book, colours won’t fade. The fabric I used was a fairly thick denim so the book has the feel of one of those cardboard kiddie books. I used grommets & 2 metal rings to fasten all the pages together. This was made as a gift for my little grand-daughter who turned 1 last month. It was quite a hit at the family birthday party for her so my guess is that I am going to be making more of these for other little people!!

I used a varigated neon embroidery thread for the lettering on the cover.

I used a varigated neon embroidery thread for the lettering on the cover.

You might like to do something similar?  My hubby was so impressed by this little gift, he told me that I could easily digitize one with ABC’s and embroider that too?! Of course, he is quite right…..I just need to find some time in my busy schedule to do that……I will have to get right onto that during the summer when my travel season has slowed down!

One of the cloth book pages for #5

One of the cloth book pages for #5. I liked the fact that quite a bit of the numbers and the designs for each number were APPLIQUE-IN-THE-HOOP so they stitched out real quick and looked so cute!

Another page - for #9

Another page – for #9 . I sewed the pages back to back together using a triple straight stitch in navy thread on my JANOME SEWING MACHINE. I did not bind or finish the edges of the denim pages: I simply used my wavy blade on my rotary cutter to neaten the edge which I don’t think will fray much.

About lizafrica

I am the National Education Manager for Janome & Elna Canada (including Artistic Creative products) and I LOVE to sew! I have been employed full time in the sewing and quilting industry for almost 30 years so I bring a wealth of sewing knowledge & expertise to this blog. I enjoy all forms of sewing from quilting to sewing garments to machine embroidery and software. Pretty much everything in my life is seen through the eyes of a passionate sewer! I am constantly on the look out for fun, innovative and inspiring ideas to share with you all on this blog. I also love to read, knit , travel and spend time with my family and friends.
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  1. Esther Bartels says:

    Is it still possible to get this adorable Summer Countdown book to embroider for two little ones who have recently come into my family. I have a Janome embroidery machine and subscribe to Creative Machine Embroidery, but didn’t take advantage of the offer in 2013 to download the project for free! Who knew then? How can I obtain this project to embroider for my family?


    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Esther,

      I am sorry. That was a magazine from quite some time back and I am not sure I could find my back copy even if I looked for it. Perhaps you can look up the archives on Creative Machine Embroidery magazine or ask them to tell you the name of the embroidery company that digitized those designs so you can approach them about buying the designs? If you still have that magazine, it will have the contact details for the digitizer.



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