Creating With Art & Stitch

Creating With ANSMany of you know that I love to draw quilting  motifs using Art & Stitch digitizing software for quilters and embroidery artists.  I happen to love this software created by Theo and Loes van der Heijden, who live in the Netherlands.

Learning this software was actually easy to do, especially if you take a class from Theo and Loes, and watch their helpful online videos.  They also have helpful workbooks to aid in learning their program, too.  This year, I decided to challenge myself by designing an original quilting motif for each quilt I do.

For current ANS users, my unique process is to design by drawing with my Tablet PC in Photoshop Elements (PSE), save as a jpg, then import into ANS as a background image to retrace and digitize.  Sometimes, I will also just start with a blank page in ANS, and create a design using the software. How I approach it depends on how complicated the design is.

Let me illustrate my creative process:  I want to draw a feather design similar to the first image, so I break it down to the half of one feather to start, since this will be a mirror design.  The design looks complex, but in reality all I needed to digitize in ANS is half the feather and pumpkin seed shapes, then copy and paste, flip and rotate to get my final design:

ansbarrett1 copy

Obviously, there are more steps to do  like planning how to connect, starts and stops, stitches per inch, etc., but this gives you a basic idea for how I design with this program.  Here are some additional designs drawn in ANS, with the quilt I drew them for.  Btw, some of these designs are available at Digitech Designs, or will be in the future.

Quilt of Honor for Bobbie Jarrett:  Note in the following image that this block has 4 different motifs that were not that difficult to create in ANS:

Quilting Design by Carla Barrett

Quilting Design by Carla Barrett

Here is my corner motif for this quilt.  Notice that I wanted a “freehand quilting” look, so often, I will only digitize the spine, then come back and freehand quilt them in.barrettcornerqoh


tropicalfeather copyDenise’s Baby Quilt-  My friend, Denise, had a baby quilt that I finished for her, so I designed this heart motif for this quilt:

DenisequiltmotifBelow is what this design looks like quilted up.  I used it in all the border corners and block corners on Denise’s baby girl quilt.


Lyn Baker’s Modern Quilt-

While quilting Lyn’s quilt, I knew it was time to create some modern designs, including these two modern designs,  shown below, now available at Digitech:


modern texture by Carla Barrett

modern texture by Carla Barrett

Design by Carla Barrett; available at Digitech Patterns.

Design by Carla Barrett; available at Digitech Patterns.

sprocketquilted Here is what the Sprocket design looks like on Lyn’s quilt- see the red sashing space on the left.

This would also make a wonderful edge-to-edge (e2e) design for the right quilt, too.


scrollheartexampleTeddie’s Quilt-  The last heirloom custom quilt I finished had many digitized patterns created in ANS.  Here are some examples:

This design was my main motif for key locations.  I also added double spine feathers coming off both sides, as shown in the bottom corner of the photo, below.teddie2


Here are just a few more designs I have created recently using this wonderful software:




This design is part of a larger wholecloth quilt I will be quilting up next.  this is the center section of the quilt.

barrettheartfleurmotif2Below is yet another heart design with some pretty scroll work vines:


By now, you get the idea of how powerful this program is for machine quilters who have a computerized system for stitching out what you create.  However, ANS also has an embroidery design feature, too, for all your embroidery artists reading this post.

Once you have drawn a design you like, you apply the quilting stitches (or embroidery stitches), then save it as the original ANS file.  I save it again as an .iqp file extension, since that is the format that my Intelliquilter understands.   This software allows you to save your files in most every major extension.

Hope you have enjoyed this post into how I like to create using ANS program.  Btw, I do not work for this company, nor have received any compensation for writing about the software. I just think that Theo and Loes have an excellent product and I am glad I bought it to use with my tablet PC.  Happy Quilting!  Carla

5 thoughts on “Creating With Art & Stitch

  1. Your work is so beautiful Carla! Oh that I can practice enough that mine will look like that one day! Hope you’re enjoying your summer with your little one! Carolyn Fritzler, Alberta

    • Hi Carolyn, I appreciate your kind comment! I have full faith in your ability to quilt wonderful quilts! Yes, having a blast with 3 year old Ethan, we took him kayaking on Sunday. Such a joy! Enjoy your summer! Carla

  2. Lovely work Carla! I too love Art and Stitch and use it for much of my own work and when needed for special designs for customers. It’s a lot of fun to play and see what happens and when you’re in a pinch, you can come up with a quick design in just a few minutes.

    • Jean, I would LOVE to see the designs you do, since I so enjoy your work and art quilts! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, Jean! Hugs, Carla

  3. Pingback: Around the World Blog Hop- My Turn! | Carla Barrett

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