Friday Flashback – includes Freebie Design

Welcome to a new segment that I am very happy to bring you. The Friday Flashback.

Each week I am going to show you one of my classic designs, letting you know the story behind the design, projects that I have made using the designs, and giving you a freebie.

This week, I am beginning with my first every design collection. The Snakes & Ladders Quilt Collection.


This collection was the first thing I ever digitised for sale, and was created when Cameron was a baby, and I was pregnant with the girls. The only chair that was comfortable in the entire house was my office chair, and I was inspired to make something that the kids could roll around the floor on, whilst possibly doing a little learning at the same time.

I began with a picture of a snakes and ladders game, and began digitising. Remember that this was 12 years ago now, and the software available was a lot different and more basic than what we now have.

One of the things that I learnt as I created this collection was the way the stitch direction affects the fabric it is being stitched on. Many of the snakes are created with fill styles that wrap around the snake, and in some instances this really sucked in the fabric.  This taught me to use multiple layers of stabiliser (including one on the top for dense designs, and also the benefits of using a layer of wadding or pellum behind the design to give the design something to form over.

I personal have made 4 copies of this quilt. It is a fantastic gift for anyone having a child (I personally like to save it for the 2nd or 3rd birthday present).  Both my brother and sisters children have this quilt, as well as giving one to my sister-in-law for her children.  The quilt itself can be laid over the back of a couch when not being played with, and is great for snuggling under whilst watching TV in the middle of winter.

The Snakes & Ladders quilt collection was also the focus of the first article that I wrote for Machine Embroidery Magazine that used my own designs. I can still remember the sense of achievement of seeing the magazine come out.  Edward immediately went out and purchased a frame so that we could frame the issue, which is still in my office today.

Over the years many things have improved in the digitising world, and having said that, this quilt is still a sentimental favourite. I often receive pictures from people who have made the quilt, and a couple of sewing groups have created this quilt as a class project (great for this purpose, as because the designs are only 4×4”, they can be achieved with any machine).


Sew Simple Phillip with their Snakes and Ladders Class quilt on display


Initially the freebie that was included with the snakes and ladders design was the dice, however when I moved over to my new website last year, it appears to have been left out. You can now access the free snakes and ladders dice HERE.


I hope you have enjoyed this look at this classic collection.  If you are looking for a great gift for a young child, this could be the project for you.

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ week.  Julie.


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