Stitching Kindness | Week One

Two weeks ago, we shared Susan Ache’s (@yardgrl60) latest magical stitchy project in partner with Moda Fabrics & Aurifil — the Stitching Kindness SAL. Today, we’re back with your words for week one, complete with some tips and encouragement from Susan herself!

Will you stitch along this Summer? Are you using Susan’s go-to red & white hues, or have you targeted an entirely different color story? You know that Susan will want to see all of your progress, so make sure to tag her & #stitchingkindnesssal on all of your IG images!

A big hearty hi and welcome to week one of our summer stitching! I am so excited to finally be at this point… to first of all say we are getting close to summer and second, the biggest reason, is that we can spend it stitching.

The last time I was here, I was talking about a go-bag and what it meant to me for my summer embroidery projects. Have you gotten a bag together with your essential tools yet? It’s okay if you haven’t– this is such a quick stitch that you might not even have time to assemble all of your tools. A couple of weeks ago, the project requirements were also listed so that you could get an idea for yourself what colors you wanted to play with and what colors you wanted to stitch with. 

Well, this week, I am specifically going to talk about stitching. For 6 weeks we are going to be stitching 3 words a week. Each of the words will have significant meaning for our lives, but since I’m all about you doing you, I’m including a blank page for you to use whichever way you would like to. 

After your summer of stitching, if there are other words you want to add, just go for it! This is about you and what words and stitches make sense in the context of your own life. This quilt is also a terrific opportunity for an autograph quilt! Simply use those blank pages for friends and family to sign in between those seam (dotted) line markings. Use that signature to embroider their name. What a great idea for an anniversary gift, graduation gift, or just a gift to someone special! 

note: It could even be a way to track a child’s handwriting! This is Ella, age 8 and Jackson, age 6.

Now for the technical part. If you are new to this kind of embroidery used in quilts, the hardest part for me sometimes is to get the sizing correct before I cut. In this case, the work has been done for you.  The dark outlines are the cutting lines and the dashed lines are the seam lines. To get started, I cut an 8″ x 9″ piece of stitching fabric and use a Micron 01 pen to trace the outline of the solid dark lines. At that point, all you need to do is take the fabric to the Lightbox, line up the borders, and trace the words.

Sidenote: No matter what I am stitching, I always use a Micron 01 pen- that soft shade of brown. It’s soft enough for the stitching lines to be seen but not so dark that it shows under my stitching lines.

So… how did I come to this fabric size for stitching? I did an experiment for y’all! The reason I randomly chose to cut an 8” x 9” piece of fabric is that it fits perfectly for using a 6” embroidery hoop. I also tried using a 3” embroidery hoop and it works just as well. That little bit of fabric gives you the space you need to be comfortable in hooping your work with plenty of wiggle room. That said, it’s really most important to find the hoop size you are most comfortable working with. This fabric is large enough for you to experiment and find your personal favorite!

How do you prepare your fabric for stitching? While this is a truly personal way to prepare, I choose to use a super duper light fusible interfacing. Some of you may choose to use muslin- that works too.  Whatever the case, I would suggest that you always use something behind your stitching to eliminate the possibility of seeing those little tails of floss under a completed quilt. A backing on your stitching will hide that for you.

As for the actual stitching, I always stitch using 2 strands of Aurifil embroidery floss. In this specific case, since I was creating a red and white quilt, I actually used all of the reds that blended with my fabric choices from Rosso Rubino, my latest Aurifil color box. I didn’t overthink it, I just stitched one week with one red and moved on to another red the next week.  

Ready to get started? What I really want to see is some fun stitching, so make sure you tag me if you are on instagram. I’m @Yardgrl60 in case you needed a reminder. Make sure you are also tagging #stitchingkindnesssal — that way, we won’t miss your fabulous stitching! Every week, I will post my picture with a link in my bio for the words. Aurifil and Moda will share links, so finding your words of the week will always be easy peasy. Now, let’s just have a fun stitching summer!  Until next time…

A love of color makes it easy for Susan to grab inspiration from her native Florida surroundings. With no grand idea other than knowing she wanted embroidery and nine patches in her first quilt, a new world opened up to this mom of now five grown children. Being self taught with many hours of reading about the makings of a quilt and quilt blocks has made this a lifelong passion. Susan is always searching for new and fun ways to show off as many colors as she can in a quilt. Most of her quilts are a creative impulse from trips to the garden center, a photograph, or browsing through paint chip selections. “I really never see just the quilt, I seem to see the quilt in the room that it belongs in”.  Working in a quilt store for years helped Susan to pursue that passion of color and the fabric inspired life she enjoys while constantly striving to make her next favorite quilt.


  1. Is the stitching fabric, included in the 1 1/4 yard of white fabric for background?

    Also do you put the interfacing on after you stitch the words?

    1. Hey, if you are marking and stitching the way I am showing in week one, you will need more fabric. Out of one 8” cut you will be able to cut 6-9” rectangles. It’s a better use of fabric and that those pieces work perfectly for all of the weeks so you have enough. As far as the interfacing…I actually press it it on before I even trace the words. It just stabilizes the fabric while I am tracing better. But that’s a choice you can make. But, it does go on before you stitch! Happy stitching….Susan

    1. Oh Lordy, I always use a backstitch…it’s the easiest and more fun for me…don’t let my interpretation influence you if you like doing a stem stitch better. It’s just truly for outlining words so whatever is more comfortable for you under your needle….Susan

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