Bears in the Hills – the Finished Project

Last week in the comments on one of the Bears in the Hills work-in-progress posts, someone asked if they could see it finished.

How did I never post a photo of the finished piece? That’s crazy!

But it’s true. 😛 I shared it in the newsletter, but I never posted a photo here.

So I’m fixing that now. 🙂

Ta da! The Bears in the Hills are finished! Here they are. . .

Aren’t they cute?

I’m so happy with this project! I loved every bit of the stitching (so many lovely stitching hours on the sofa!) and now it’s framed and hanging in my studio where I see it every day.

Want to make your own? Sign up for the Bears in the Hills class here.

Happy stitching!


Bears in the Hills

The Bears in the Hills are here!

I’ve been working on this for a while now and it’s finally to a place where you all can join in!

Sign up for the workshop here.

It’s the same price as a pattern, but it’s set up as a video workshop on Teachable, where I host all my free introductory workshops.

If you sign up right now you’ll find the pattern pieces, an overview of the tools and supplies needed, and instructions for cutting, prepping, and layering all the pieces.

I’ll be adding videos showing how I do the stitching on the hills as we go along – probably at a rate of something like one new video every week. You won’t need to do anything special to access the new videos – they’ll just pop up in your classroom as soon as I load them up. Easy peasy!

The first video to come will show how to give your bears their faces. I want to see them all smiling at me while I work!

Sign up for the workshop here.

I can’t wait to see all your bears!

Happy stitching!


Mandalas to Embroider – book review

Mandalas to Embroider by Carina Envoldsen-Harris is a beautiful collection of easy-to-embroider mandala patterns.

I love stitching mandalas so much! (You can find instructions for stitching freestyle mandalas here. And here’s a mandala sun I made using this round graph paper.)

The book is great for beginners, with a short spread about materials and a few pages showing how to do some basic embroidery stitches – all you need for these pretty designs.

There are patterns for 12 large mandalas and 12 small mandalas – and they’re all iron-on transfers.

And – I love this thoughtful detail – the book has a pocket in the back cover to hold those transfer pages after you cut them out.

I love it when the publisher of a book really thinks about how it will be used.

I was going to stitch one of the tiny designs and maybe wear it as a necklace. I love this group – all named after artists. 🙂

But in the end, the paisleys sucked me in. 🙂 I decided on Paisley Constellation.

There’s a two-page spread for each design, showing the pattern, a color chart, stitch guide and the finished design all in one place. I love that!

Here’s a closer look at the information page.

See how clearly everything is laid out?

Of course, I ignored it completely. 🙂

As soon as I got my design transferred (just a super easy iron-on) and hooped in the purple hoop I decided on a bunch of cool colors for a watery-ish look.

I always start stitching the biggest outlines first.

After I was almost done I decided that it need a little pop of warm color, so I made the flowers dark pink, and decided on a light pink for all the little stars.

Here’s my finished hoop!

I’m so happy with how it turned out!

The one thing the book doesn’t have is instructions for finishing your hoop art. But I’ve got you covered. 🙂

There’s a video here showing how to frame art in a hoop – without using any glue.

And there’s a post here showing how to cover up your messy back when you frame it in a hoop. This is especially nice for a project like Christmas tree ornaments, where the back can actually be seen. And all the small designs in the book would make FABULOUS Christmas tree ornaments.

My mandala was so much fun to stitch – I’d love to do another in a completely different colorway. You can transfer each design about 10 times before the ink runs out. That’s a lot of stitching fun!

Get Mandalas to Embroider here. And have fun with it!

Happy stitching!


This post contains affiliate links. That means I make a little commission if you buy something after clicking through.

Free Beaver Pencil Case Pattern

I’m participating in the Back to School Sewing Series with Sulky. You can make this fun pencil case!

That beaver can’t wait to chomp on all those colored pencils. 🙂

See a little sneak peek of that beaver design here – including a look at all the beaver designs I didn’t use. 🙂


Step 1

Download the embroidery pattern here.

Step 2

Print or trace the pattern out onto a sheet of Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy at 100% size. The rectangle should be 4 x 9 inches.

Step 3

Peel off the paper backing and stick the pattern onto the fabric. Make sure you position it so that the whole image will fit in the hoop, with fabric all the way around.

Step 4

Choose your threads!

So many pretty colors. 🙂

Step 5

Embroider the design using two strands of Sulky 12 wt. thread. Stitch right through the stabilizer and the fabric.

I used backstitch for all the lines. Learn how to backstitch here.

I used satin stitch for the pencil leads. This video shows how I satin stitch pointy shapes.

Look closer!

I decided partway through stitching that I wanted a little more color on the barrels of the pencils – so I added some stripes running down them.

Your pattern has the added stripes. 🙂

That nose!

I wanted the nose to be solid, but instead of satin stitching I decided to applique it with a tiny scrap of black felt for a velvety soft texture.

At this point I just left it unstitched.

Step 6

Trim the fabric down to 1/2 inch outside the rectangle.

Make sure you do that now – once you soak away the stabilizer that handy line will disappear. 🙂

Step 7

Soak the piece in cold water for an hour or longer. I often leave mine to soak overnight with no problem. Rinse it in clean water, gently squeeze out the extra water, and iron it dry face down on a fluffy towel. This video shows how I iron my embroidery dry without smooshing the stitches.

Step 8

Whipstitch the nose in place using matching thread.

For a small piece like this I like to use a glue stick to hold the piece in place while I stitch it down.

Step 9

Stitching done!

The front piece for your pencil case is all fancied up. Now it’s time to sew it up into a pouch.

Cut a back piece from the main fabric 10 x 5 inches.

Cut two lining pieces, also 10 x 5 inches.

Step 10

Follow the instructions in this post to sew up your fancy lined zipper pouch. 🙂


Now – go check out the rest of the series! It’s a fun group of free projects!

Happy stitching!


Under the Sea Embroidery Pattern

The Under the Sea embroidery pattern is finished!

These are all sea creatures that my husband drew while he was on various planes last year, traveling to schools to talk to kids about his books.

Aren’t they fun? I enjoyed stitching them so much!

They’d be great stitched onto some tea towels, or a tote bag, or a swimsuit cover-up, or a T-shirt. Add a little ocean critter to anything you like!

These are super easy to embroider. I used backstitch for almost all the stitching on my sample – the easiest stitch there is. 🙂

Get more details (and the pattern) here.

Happy stitching!



Happy Birthday Embroidery Pattern!

Happy Birthday embroidery pattern from Shiny Happy World

There’s a new embroidery pattern in the shop!

Stitch up some birthday motifs on anything you like! Embroider little partygoers on handmade goody bags. Stitch a towering birthday cake onto a tea towel. Add a bunch of balloons and a birthday greeting to a T-shirt.

Have a party!

You can get the new pattern here.

Happy stitching!


Keep Going.

Keep going. A stitched reminder from Shiny Happy World.

When you’re tackling a big project (learning a new skill, moving into a new house, trying to change years-old habits) there are bound to be setbacks.

The important thing is to keep going.

No internet in your new house? Figure out how to use your phone as a hot spot and keep going.

Did you skip your new morning run because it was freezing and crazy windy? Just pick it up again the next day and keep going.

Are you making your first quilt and your seams in a few intersections don’t quite match up? Shrug it off (nobody will notice anyway after it’s washed and crinkly) and keep going.

Julia Child is one of my heroes. I watched her on TV when I was a kid and I don’t remember many specifics, just her personality. Except one thing.

She was showing how to make some kind of sauce – I don’t remember what – and she was warning watchers that the sauce could break. She told you what to watch out for in the hope that you could prevent it – but then she said something to the effect that if it breaks, it breaks. It will look terrible but it will still taste fine, so serve it by candlelight and enjoy.

In other words – keep going.


Happy stitching!

(Oh – and for those who want to know what that fancy-schmancy stitch is – it’s backstitched chain stitch. It looks hard, but it’s actually really easy. There’s a video showing how to do it here.)


Free May Calendar

Free May calendar from Shiny Happy World

April showers bring May flowers. 🙂

Happy May!

This month’s wallpaper uses flowers from this fun embroidery pattern. Those flowers are especially fun to stitch onto these tea towels. Have fun with it!

Instead of just having a sale on that one pattern this month, I decided to have a sale on every one of my patterns that includes flowers. That’s a lot! You can find them all here.

Use the discount code FLOWERPOWER for 20% off all flower patterns this month.

And back to the calendar. . . here’s the free wallpaper for the month in common sizes for computers, tablets and phones. 🙂

Download the 2560×1440 wallpaper.
Download the 1920×1280 wallpaper.
Download the 1280×800 wallpaper.
Download the iPhone wallpaper.
Download the iPad wallpaper.

I don’t have an iDevice, but I’ve heard that changing the wallpaper on iPhones and iPads can be tricky if you’ve never done it before. Here’s a tutorial I found that looks pretty clear.


Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

Free Pattern! Big Stitch Polkadot Coasters

Big Stitch Polkadot Coasters - a free pattern from Shiny Happy World

This project is all about those big stitches!

It’s simple, fun and easy.

It’s all hand-sewn – perfect for stitching while you binge-watch your favorite show. 🙂

My friends at Sulky were watching my progress on this big-stitched lap-sized quilt. . .

Quilt-in-progress from Shiny Happy World's Big Stitches and Patchy Patchwork class

(It’s a WIP from my Big Stitches and Patchy Patchwork class.)

They knew I was using Sulky Petites 12 wt. thread for all the big stitch quilting, and they knew this was a BIG project. They asked me if I’d consider designing a smaller project for people who just wanted to give big stitch quilting a try.

Of course I would!

I loooooove stitching in spirals and I had been kicking around the idea of making some round coasters. This is what came out of it!

Big Stitch Polkadot Coasters - a free pattern from Shiny Happy World

Get the tutorial here.

Happy stitching!

Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

Free Embroidery Files for Machine Stitched Eyes

Free Embroidery Files for Machine-Stitched Eyes - from Shiny Happy World

Want to learn how to make a quilt with an easy online workshop – totally free?

Sign up for Let’s Make a Quilt here. You’ll learn how to get started, the tools and supplies you’ll need, and how to make a quilt from start to finish using Quilt As You Go and applique with fusible adhesive.

It’s the easiest, most fun way to make an applique quilt. You can do it!

I know the eyes are the trickiest part of my applique patterns. I’ve got a video here showing some tips for outlining them, and I have a tutorial here showing a cheater-pants way to stitch the very small Paper Doll quilt eyes on many regular sewing machines.

But I’ve heard from several of you who have embroidery machines and want embroidery files to satin stitch those eyes – including the larger ones.

That would be awesome! But I don’t have an embroidery machine and I have no idea how their files work. 🙁

We were chatting about this in one of the video Q&A sessions, and Ceil followed up after the session by putting me in touch with Titania Creations – someone who specializes in designing patterns for embroidery machines.

Thanks Ceil!

Titania Creations created a set of files for oval eyes that I’m giving away for free here.

Yep – free!

The eyes are all ovals in various sizes – from 1/8″ tall (great for the Paper Dolls quilt pattern) up to 1 1/4″ tall (great for the Silly Sloths quilt pattern).

You can find all the files here.

Here are the details. . .


  • 01 = 1/8 inch tall
  • 02 = 1⁄4 inch tall
  • 03 = 1⁄2 inch tall
  • 04 = 3⁄4 inch tall
  • 05 = 1 inch tall
  • 06 = 1 1⁄4 inch tall

Machine Formats

  • PES – Brother / Babylock
  • XXX – Singer
  • JEF – Janome
  • VIP / VP3 – Pfaff / Husqvarna
  • HUS – Husqvarna
  • EXP – Melco / Bernina (Bernina also uses .ART but this is not available commercially)
  • DST – Tajima / Industrial machines. Any machine can use DST format but most home embroiderers don’t like to use it because it does not retain any colors.

So if you need a 1/2″ tall eye and you have a Janome embroidery machine. . .

  1. Go to this link.
  2. Double click on folder 03 for the half-inch eyes.
  3. Download the file ending in JEF.
  4. Wave a magic wand to get that file onto your embroidery machine.
  5. Stitch your eyes.

You can see that my knowledge of this process breaks down at Step #4. I’m hoping that if anyone has a question they can ask it in the Shiny Happy People group and someone who actually HAS an embroidery machine will be able to help. 🙂

Oh! And these files can also be used to machine-embroider eyes on softies, for those of you making them for kids too young for the safety eyes. Hooray!

Happy stitching!

Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World