Thursday, April 30, 2015

Quick Stitch Kit: Design-A-Softie

The second Quick Stitch Kit will be released on May 1st and it is entitled "Design-A-Softie". This is one collection of tools and stamps that you will turn to again and again to make heirloom quality gifts with heart. Everything you need to make customized softies will be right at your fingertips! Besides the basic softie body parts, there are dies for different facial expressions, eyes, ears and even trendy accessories! You will be able to create special one-of-a-kind stuffed animals according to a child's favorites colors, interests and personality! Think of this as your own person build-a-bear, just on a more affordable level! Get your kit tomorrow night so you can get a head start on holiday gifts!

Design-A-Softie Kit Contents:

Custom tote bag
Design-A-Softie mini stamp set + index label
Softie die collection
Softie Ears die collection
Softie Expressions die collection
Softie Glasses & Mustaches die collection
Softie Kerchief die collection
Softie Patches die collection
Softie Collar & tie die collection
Softie Exclusives die collection
Custom button mix (50 buttons total)
(4) Iron-on 8-1/2" x 11" Transfer sheets
(1) pdf download with full instructions

The total retail cost of the "Design-A-Softie" Kit is $105. There will be a limited number of these exclusive kits available, so be sure to get yours while you can! Some individual items will be available for sale at a later date. The "Design-A-Softie" Kit will be available for sale beginning on May 1st at 10pm EST, only at Papertrey Ink. Read all the details on Nichole's blog or contact Customer Service with any questions.

Link to the Design-A-Softie PDF's can be found here.

Basic Softie
Softie Kerchief
Softie Tie and Collar

Oh, boy, where do I even start?!?!?! I have so much to show you. Things have been very busy around here. Looks a lot like a cross between Santa's Workshop and Build-A-Bear at my house.

How about we just jump right in?

This is Gadget the Bunny. He's sporting several swanky Design-A-Softie accessories included in the kit. Being the brainiac bunny that he is, he doesn't go anywhere without sporting a pair of Smokey Shadow glasses. Both his ear patches and tie are made of patterned felt. Your eyes do not deceive you! Patterned felt.  More about that nifty trick later:).

Have a little fun with your hand stitched Design-A-Softies by attaching a kit exclusive "retail tag" to make them look store bought. You won't fool anybody for more than a second. These are better than what you can buy in the store. After all, the tag says, "made with hugs, kisses, and loving stitches". Limited edition, indeed.

Also a kit exclusive, the tushie pocket can be filled with a note, small goodie (think Clever Barrettes topped with a Seasonal Stitches: Butterfly, that matches a butterfly on the softie body), or a gift card.

The included stamp set lets you have a bit of Xavier Roberts fun (child of the 80's over here), by adding an official name to your Design-A-Softie. Half the fun is coming up with their monikers:).

The Basic Softie Die comes with a body, leg, arm, teddy bear-style ear, and ear patch. By changing up the facial expressions and the ears, you can morph it into a bunch of different critters. So instead of Gadget the Bunny, we now have Miss Frosting Cupcake. This sweet little teddy bear has her ear patches covered in fabric with the help of iron-on transfer. (More on that later.) The large heart button is a kit exclusive and looks great on with her rainbow motif. And of course, a jaunty kerchief reflects her carefree personality.

 The Softie Expression Die Collection is what helps morph our Design-A-Softies so easily. There's all sorts of different eyes, ears, smiles,  and noses. And then who knows what you can imagine with these shapes. They might turn into something entirely different.

Miss Frosting Cupcake has a neat feature. Her eyelids lift up, so she can go from asleep to awake and back again. This is a nod to a few childhood dolls I had.  Time has not diminished this feature's appeal. Eliza and Hank think this is super cool. Everything you need is in the Expression Die Collection.

I bet you are wondering how easy these guys are to put together. Extremely easy. I've worked out all the tricks for you. I filmed the construction of this mustachioed teddy for my nephew. (Yes...a mustache! How cute is that?!?!?) Just hit play on the video to learn how to do it yourself. You'll be making softies in no time at all.

As you can see, the only tricky part to making your softies is coming up with your design and color scheme. I have a suggestion for that as well. If you aren't feeling confident, play with your dies and paper and make a paper version before you cut the more expensive felt. I even mocked up the iron-on transfer I wanted to do on Vintage Cream with paper using tones of Classic Kraft and Ocean Tides and Background Basics: Random Stripe. Added bonus, you can use your paper softie to decorate cards and other paper projects.

A note. The stamped iron-on transfer technique works really great with whatever stamped backgrounds you have in your collection. Just imagine the possibilities! Brings new life to them, right? Background Basics: Random Stripe works particularly well because it is a small print (we are working with small pieces on the softies) and can be multi-stepped if you layer the colors. Really helps to bring two felt colors together.

For this teddy card, I cut the Basic Softie Die out of Fine Linen cardstock and added various details from the Softie Expression Die Collection and a mustache from the Softie Glasses and Mustache Dies. Instead of hand stitching this paper version, I used my Copics to draw in the lines. Phrase Play #3 stamps and dies, Birthday Style dies, and Aqua Mist Bitty Dot paper finish off my card.

I use a lot of pattern on my softies in addition to felt. Grant's teddy, Gadget, and Miss Frosting Cupcake feature two different iron-on transfer techniques that add pattern to their various add-ons. In the Quick Stitch Kit: Design-A-Softie, we've included four sheets of iron-on transfer sheets. This is the same stuff we used in the Sewing Staples Kit to add numbers to the floss bobbins. Only we are using it a bit differently this time around.

First up, you can stamp a small pattern (such as Super Gingham) onto the iron on transfer sheets and iron the pattern onto felt before running it through your die cut machine. I stamped the gingham in Ocean Tides ink and transferred it onto Aqua Mist felt for this tone on tone look. Completely custom and something you can match up with a paper card or packaging.

For Miss Frosting Cupcake, the iron-on transfer is used as a fabric stabilizer, just like Heat-N-Bond. I simply ironed it on to the back of the rainbow striped fabric and cut with my die cut machine. After I peeled the backing off, I was able to place it on the same cut out of Vintage Cream Felt, hit it with an iron again, and fuse the two layers together. I like to back all my fabric pieces with Vintage Cream Felt to give them some weight and help keep the colors in the fabric bright and true.

To see these two techniques in action, just push play on the video:

In addition to glasses and mustaches to add personality, you have the option to add a collar and/or tie or a kerchief as well. I've got video tutorials for those items.

First up the Softie Tie and Collar Die Collection. Click play to see how you add some menswear flair to your softie of choice. I made this Simply Chartreuse doggie in the video.

This particular doggie-themed softie is for a little boy who is being born today. I came up with some additional ideas for adding packaging and a card to round out the gift.

The largest packaging die that PTI has are the Front & Center Dies (two different ones, here and here) that cover the back and front of a paper lunch sack. How fun to totally coordinate your bag colors to your softie?

For my card, I took the Softie Tie & Collar Die to add a matching tie to the Shape Up: Onesie card. Same fabric and everything. Love how this tied everything together.

In addition to the retail tag you saw above with Gadget, there is also a stitched heart tag that is included in the Softie Exclusive Dies. Two stamps from the Design-A-Softie stamp set are designed to fit inside. A single stitch through the softie ear  (an arm and the neck are two other option) secures this in and you just tie off with a bow. Just like regular retail tags, one snip of a pair of scissors on the string and the retail tags are free from the softie.

All in all, a well rounded, sweet gift for a new baby boy.

Next up, the how-to video for the Softie Kerchief Die. Miss Petunia Pig (see...I told you they were fun to name and make!) sports a janty kerchief, because she's such a carefree, fun-loving gal. Click play on the video to learn more:

We've got a few more fun features with Miss Petunia. Small,circular eye dies are working as foot and hand pads. Did you notice? Just a matter of letting your imagination run wild.

We've got a retail tag featuring the multi-step stamp detail to the Design-A-Softie logo. There is an "MSRP" stamp included in the exclusive stamp set. Here, the price to pay is easy and precious. I know a lot of you are planning on making and selling these for charity. Imagine being able to write in your own price here.

I sewed in the kit exclusive tushie pocket in a slightly contrasting color (Hibiscus Burst on top of Raspberry Fizz) and placed a note inside. A few flowers from the Floral Cluster 1 Die (Sewing Staples Kit) embellish the tushie, just like the kerchief on the front. I wanted a little floral design to match the fabric I used on the belly patch.

This time, on the Tushie Note (this die is sized to fit the contours of the Tushie Pocket), I included a handwritten note to my favorite little girl. She is just pleased as punch with all her new friends. She fell asleep tonight with Miss Frosting Cupcake, Petunia, and Stella in her arms and a big smile on her face.

Who's Stella, you ask? Say hello to her. I do a lot of covering just the basics when it comes to these kit releases. With Stella, I gave myself free reign to do whatever I wanted, without having to cross off any boxes on my list of tasks. And this is what we've got. A cute flower child.

Instead of using the ear and ear patch from the Basic Softie die as intended, I created flower petals all the way around her head in shades of Pure Poppy and Hibiscus Burst. I purposely used white floss against the bright colors to allow the stitching take center stage.

It's not hard to see that with different colors and facial expression, you could easily morph Stella into a lion.:)

The closed, lashed eyelids, wide smile, and cute triangular nose are all from the Softie Expression Die Collection. They can be used to make more than just animals. The nose was cut out of Vintage Cream felt, just like the softie body. Noses are subtle in real life. Thus my inspiration. Pink heart buttons on either side of the smile are also included in the exclusive button mix in the Quick Stitch Kit: Design-A-Softie kit.

Stella fits inside a Pint Sized Container from the store. I've covered it in Hibiscus Burst Polka Dot Paper with the Pint Sized Wrap Die and filled it with green paper grass. I was thinking, that you could make a bunch of potted pretties like this, by only using the torso of the Basic Softie Die. She looks great just as she is and there is no reason why she would need arms and legs. She's simply a flower in this version.

But, you know, I told you I went all out. And I mean all out. How about some advance iron-on techniques here with Stella? I just wanted to see what was possible.

Holy iron-on, Batman! Miss Stella here is completely covered in iron-on transfer with the exception of her face. The piece of Pure Poppy Satin Ribbon sewn between the front and back of the softie body at the neck and tied in the front can turn this flower head into a bonnet, while at the same time, covering up where the iron on starts and ends on a single cut of Vintage Cream felt. Also of note, the tushie pocket is sewn in the front and topped with a large heart button from the kit. Looks a bit like a diaper.

Let's talk about the iron-on transfer. I used my very first stamp set, Background Basics: Striped Sweater to give my felt softie a knitted look. Large patches of iron-on transfer were stamped and ironed onto Vintage Cream felt. I cut the arms and leg dies in a way that extended the hands and feet beyond the stamped impression.  The iron-on transfer extends past the stamped impression on the arms and legs, however. The iron-on transfer sheets have a slight "feel" to them and I needed to maintain that throughout the limbs.

The back of the softie body for Stella is completely stamped with iron-on transfer, as well.

Like, I said above, Stella was very much experimental for me. In making a softie this way, you end up using a bit more felt with how the dies have to be arranged. You want the pattern to all go in one direction, so you can't take advantage of every bit of felt like you would in a plain, felt softie. And you go through a sheet and a half of iron-on transfer. It was fun and I had to try. Couldn't help myself.

If you want to do this yourself, take your time and really plan it out. And keep in mind, there is a different "feel" to iron-on transfer treated felt. Ear patches and accessories are one thing, a whole body might be another for you. Eliza commented on it last night. She called it "silky". I call it "coated with a very thin layer of plastic". LOL!

I know some of you have concerns about cleaning what will be some very loved on softies. The iron-on transfer might be an alternative for you there. These would wipe clean with a damp cloth. Or, you can hit them with a spray coating of Scotch Guard to make them stain repellent.

In any case, if you don't want to make Stella how I did, there are some take-aways from my experiment. You can see how you could make a lion. And you can make a flower child. Both good ideas, no iron-on transfer needed.

Also, regarding the Pint Size Container and Wrap. After I took all the photos yesterday, Eliza was free to finally play with everything. She put three of her softies in the pint container. They were in a triangle arrangement, standing up, with all their faces sticking out. And it was a really nice fit. You'd really blow the mind of a little girl if you made her three softies and gave them this way. I have a few nieces who might be getting the same gift:).

Wow. That's is it for me. I hope you enjoyed all the details and photos. It's a big kit with big possibilities. Looking forward to seeing the softies you create.

The Quick Stitch Team has even more softies to see. Click on over to view their creations. And remember, if you want to add the Quick Stitch Kit: Design-A-Softie to your collection, you don't have to wait long. They go on sale at 10 PM EST on May 1st at

Tracy Miller
Hilary Kanwischer
Rebecca Luminarias
Lizzie Jones


Gadget the Bunny
Quick Stitch Kit: Design-A-Softie
Super Gingham
Aqua Mist Cardstock
Spring Moss, Aqua Mist, Smokey Shadow, Lavender Moon, Vintage Cream Felt

Miss Frosting Cupcake
Quick Stitch Kit: Design-A-Softie 
Aqua Mist, Hibiscus Burst, Smokey Shadow, Limeade Ice Felt

Grant's Teddy Set
Quick Stitch Kit: Design-A-Softie 
Background Basics: Random Stripe, Phrase Play #3 stamps and dies, Birthday Style Dies
Aqua Mist Bitty Dot Patterned Paper
Fine Linen, Dark Chocolate, Smokey Shadow, and Vintage Cream felt and cardstock

Baby Boy Doggie Softie Set
Quick Stitch Kit: Design-A-Softie 
Front and Center Dies, Shape Up: Onesie Die, Wonderful Words: Baby Die, Smooth Alphabet
Simply Chartreuse Cardstock
Dark Chocolate Stripe Patterned Paper
Simply Chartreuse, Dark Chocolate, Smokey Shadow, Vintage Cream Felt

Petunia the Pig
Quick Stitch Kit: Design-A-Softie , Quick Stitch Kit: Sewing Staples
Raspberry Fizz, Hibiscus Burst, Blueberry Sky, Simply Chartreuse, Pure Poppy, Vintage Cream Felt

Quick Stitch Kit: Design-A-Softie 
Background Basics: Striped Sweater
Pint Size Containers and Wraps
Hibiscus Burst Polka Dot
Pure Poppy Satin Ribbon
Vintage Cream, Pure Poppy, Hibiscus Burst Felt


  1. Well done Erin. Superb inspiration. Loving everything

  2. I love this set. They are so cute. Can't wait to order this kit

  3. I love this set. They are so cute. Can't wait to order this kit

  4. Love your new Kit Erin...stunning work. My grandchildren will love them!

  5. Sooooo cute, Erin. I especially like Stella!

  6. This is such a fabulous set! All of your projects are gorgeous!!! Great videos too!

  7. You are a genius! A creative genius!

  8. LOVE them!!
    Stella is my favorite...
    love, love, love it!

  9. Erin this kit is just adorable! You are so creative. Thanks so much.

  10. Erin! These are absolutely adorable! So many cuties between you and the DT.

  11. Love the way you used the ears on this one,too cute! Hurry up mailman!

  12. Hi Erin
    Have already ordered the dies to make a party with friends :)

    I was wanting to add to the possibilities of decoration with needle felting .please look it up on pinterest I am sure it will give you tons of ideas :)

  13. Hi Erin, I received my softie kit in the mail & wondering how many pieces of floss you use to stitch the bodies together/ears etc...? Also, do you have a DMC recommendations that match the Papertrey felts? Thank you Michelle

  14. OMG OMG OMG!! I'm LOVING my Kit and had a BLAST over the Memorial Day Weekend cutting Softies for my Nieces and Boys for them to make!! Their CREATIVE MINDS just make me SMILE!! =) My 11 yr. old Niece is planning on saving her money to buy the Kit so she can Plan her 12 Birthday Party and make these with her Friends!! =) Just wanted to share so you could check them out if you have time/want too!! THANKS AGAIN for sharing the Video too as it was EXTREMELY Helpful for them to learn how to put them together!! THANKS AGAIN and have a FABULOUS WEEK!! =)