Sew a Tote and Display Your Collectible Pins

NancyZieman SFQST First

Sew a Tote and Display Your Collectible Pins

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NancyZieman SFQST FirstCreate this showcase tote using your embroidery machine or with your traditional sewing machine. That’s right, you can piece perfectly and quilt with your embroidery machine. This Stress-Free Quilting Showcase Tote bundle, from Amazing Designs, includes pieced blocks and a computer-guided embroidery machine quilted design. In addition to the fun bag pattern, bonus table topper pattern, and optional foundation paper-piecing templates are included. Talk about bang for your buck! 

NancyZieman SFQST PackageFront

.NancyZieman SFQST PackageBackThe blocks, Snowball and Square-in-a-Square, are combined to show off your favorite collectible pins, buttons, photos printed on fabric, embroideries, appliqués, fabric prints, and more with this attention-grabbing tote. You’ll be able to fussy-cut fabrics or even feature a special photograph with this design.

NancyZieman SFQST ShowcaseOptions

The Snowball and Square-in-a-Square blocks are skillfully pieced either by the embroidery machine or by paper piecing with a sewing machine. Finished quilt blocks measure 2-3/4″ x 2-3/4″.

Accurately Piece Quilt Blocks with Machine Embroidery

Here’s a brief look at the fabrics and steps you’ll need to create each block in the hoop:

Square-in-a-Square Block:

  •  Required fabric pieces:

NancyZieman SFQST SqInSqPieces

  • Hoop a single layer of Cut-Away No-Show Fusible Mesh Stabilizer.
  • Stitch thread Color 1, the numbered stitching sequence of the block design, directly onto the stabilizer.
ITH Piecing NancyZieman 1
  • Place Section 1 fabric square over the Section 1 stitched on the stabilizer base, right side up. Fabric must cover the stitched lines.
  • Fuse in place with a mini-iron.
  • Stitch thread Color 2 to baste down fabric Section 1.

ITH Piecing NancyZieman 2

  • Trim away excess fabric along previously stitched basting line.
  • Align Section 2 fabric triangle edges, right sides together. Make certain fabric extends equally beyond the outline on the stabilizer at opposite ends.
  • Embroider thread Color 3 to stitch this section of the block.
ITH Piecing NancyZieman 4
  • Fold the fabric section over the stabilizer.
  • Start pressing along the folded edge with a mini-iron, working to the outer edge to eliminate any wrinkles.
  • Embroider with thread Color 4 to baste pressed section in place.
  • Trim excess fabric past basting line.
ITH Piecing NancyZieman 5
  • Add fabric Section 2, following the numbers consecutively.

ITH Piecing NancyZieman 6

  • Embroider, flip, press, baste, trim, and move to the next section.

ITH Piecing NancyZieman 7.ITH Piecing NancyZieman 8

  • Continue adding pieces until the block is complete.
  • Finish with the last thread color, basting the blocks edges.
ITH Piecing NancyZieman 9
  • Trim the block per the package directions.

NancyZieman SFQST SqInSqFinished

Snowball Block:

NancyZieman SFQST SnowballPieces


  • Simply follow the detailed directions included in the package to apply each fabric section in consecutive order, similar to the construction of the Square-in-a-Square block.
  • This is the finished and trimmed block.

NancyZieman SFQST SnowballFinished

Foundation Paper Piecing Templates

You can also use this design bundle to print foundation paper piecing templates. Use them as you would any other foundation pieced pattern. Detailed instructions are included in this bundle. Here’s an overview:

  • Print off as many blocks as you need, using the embroidery software program.
  • Place Section 1 fabric square over the Section 1 printed on the foundation paper, wrong side of fabric to wrong side of paper foundation. The fabric must extend past the printed lines.
  • Pin.

PaperPiecing STQST NancyZieman 1

  • Place Section 2 fabric triangle aligned with the corresponding edge of pinned fabric square, right sides together.
  • Pin.

PaperPiecing STQST NancyZieman 2

  • Stitch right on the Section 2 printed line.
PaperPiecing STQST NancyZieman 3
  • Trim threads.
  • Remove pin and press fabric triangle over Section 2 of the paper foundation using a mini iron, Little Wooden Iron, or Hera Marker.
  • Mark for Section 2 trimming line by placing a gridded quilting ruler on the foundation paper, aligning the ruler’s 1/4″ line on the stitching line.
  • Using the curved edge of the Hera marker, emboss a foldline along the ruler’s edge.
  • Remove the ruler and fold back the paper onto itself.

PaperPiecing STQST NancyZieman 4

  • Repeat for remaining corner of Section 2.
PaperPiecing STQST NancyZieman 5
PaperPiecing STQST NancyZieman 6
  • Trim away excess with rotary cutter.

PaperPiecing STQST NancyZieman 7

  • Continue in sequential order to add fabric sections, fold, and trim. Press each section along the way.

PaperPiecing STQST NancyZieman 8

  • Lastly, stitch around the marked perimeter line to secure the block. Trim per the instructions.
PaperPiecing STQST NancyZieman 9

Sew and Quilt the Projects

This extensive design bundle includes two project patterns: a tote and a table topper.

  • Prepare the required number of blocks for the design you choose.
  • Assemble them per the directions.

Use the Embroidery Machine to Quilt

NancyZieman SFQST 1

  • Add the first quilting lines by using a Walking Foot to stitch “in the ditch.”

NancyZieman SFQST 2

  • Use the floral quilting design included to plan the computer (embroidery machine) guided quilting.
  • Print a template using an embroidery software program, such as Amazing Designs® Edit Xpress.
  • Position paper on fabric at desired location.
NancyZieman SFQST 3
  • Align the project in the embroidery hoop. Quilt the design.

NancyZieman SFQST 4

  • Repeat quilting steps in all areas that you would like quilted.

Use a Free-Motion Quilting Foot to Quilt

  • Print the flower quilting design motif onto paper.
  • Trace the design onto quilting paper.

NancyZieman SFQST QuiltStencil

  • Cut to separate each of the quilting paper patterns.
  • Position pattern, then tape to fabric at desired location.

NancyZieman SFQST Placement

  • Use the Free-Motion Quilting Foot to quilt. Use the paper as a guide.

NancyZieman SFQST Stitched

  • Remove the quilting paper.
NancyZieman SFQST Quilted
  • Repeat quilting in all desired locations.
With so many options and variations in this Stress-Free Quilting Showcase design bundle, you’ll have a variety of finished designs completed with computer accuracy. This package is quite the skill-builder, as well. If you have never tried these techniques—machine embroidery piecing, foundation paper piecing, computer-guided quilting, or free-motion quilting—you are in for a treat! I hope you enjoy the collection!
NancyZieman SFQST First

Free Collectible Pin

Receive a FREE Nancy’s Notions Sewing Weekend collector pin by registering for ticketed events (excluding lunch). Visit to view event details. I look forward to seeing you next week at Sewing Weekend, May 4, 5 & 6, 2017 in Beaver Dam, WI.

Nancy's Notions Sewing Weekend, May 4, 5, & 6, 2017

Watch Stress-Free Quilting with Machine Embroidery on Sewing With Nancy online.

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

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  • Clovis
    April 29, 2017

    You make it look so easy.

  • Marvel D.
    April 29, 2017

    I love love love this bag. There are so many ways to use the open (White centers) of the blocks to show off patches, pictures, pins, and buttons. My head is spinning with ideas. Thanks for the great pattern. Marvel

  • Lynne
    April 29, 2017

    What a fun bag!!!

  • Susan Spiers
    April 29, 2017

    Great idea-need one for all my collectible pins that tell my travelling story! Thank you, Susan

  • Jacque Horner
    April 29, 2017

    I hadn’t thought of using my grands in a snowball block but think I certainly will now. Thanks for the idea.

  • Jody
    April 29, 2017

    I have a worn out tote with all of my travel patches half falling off! This is an ideal way to be able to sew them on the block as I make the tote. Thanks for a terrific idea!

  • Karen Poole
    April 30, 2017

    Wow! I LOVE this!! I have so many pins and have been trying to decide how I wanted to display them and this is perfect!!

  • Pat
    May 1, 2017

    Wish I could come but can’t. Are pins available for sale?

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