Why I Love Anita Goodesign Embroidery Collections

by Cathy Ellsaesser, posted on

We just wrapped up the Anita Goodesign Anita’s University 301 last week. It was so much fun, and as always, Taylor was a great instructor. (Bless his heart!) I was very fortunate in having three of my sisters join me at the event. They each love sewing and embroidery, but two of them had never been to an event like that.  They had a blast! (So did I!)

Sisters at RMSV Anita Goodesign event

I was trying to think about how many of Anita Goodesign events I have attended.  I guess once or twice a year for 9 years! So why do I keep coming back and inviting others?

The Designs

When I started in machine embroidery many, many years ago, I got designs from a variety of sources.  I first started buying discs from Amazing Designs, Great Notions, and Dakota Collectibles. I even had an Anita Goodesign disk called Halloween. Eventually, designs became available online at sites such as Embroidery Library, Embroidery CentralSmart Needle, and many others.

Each of these providers of machine embroidery designs had, and still have, great designs, and I still use many of them. But it wasn’t until I went to my first Anita Goodesign Embroidery Party 9 years ago did I have a “playbook” for using designs in quilts or other projects. Wow! I saw beautiful design collections to use in a quilt. There were in-the-hoop projects that could result in pot holders,  zipper bags, danglers, and many more. Designs were all embroidery or some applique as well.

Maybe it was just being able to see so many embroidery designs stitched out, but I was blown away by the beauty of the designs. The digitizing was fabulous. The designs were stunning. I was hooked!

Panels showing different Anita Goodesign embroidery collections Panels showing different Anita Goodesign embroidery collections Panels showing different Anita Goodesign embroidery collections

Collection Sizes

One size does not fit all, and Anita Goodesign knows that. Mini Collections, Full Collections, Projects, Special Editions, Premium and Premium Plus collections are all available. What amazes me is the amount and variety of the different collections that are released each month.

The Instructions

All of they previous designs I had purchased came with a color chart to show you each embroidery step and recommended thread color. Anita Goodesign went beyond that. Anita Goodesign provides stitch-out steps, thread colors, materials list and illustrated step-by-step instructions on a pdf file on the CD. Over the years that has really blossomed into their  beautiful, monthly All Access magazines.

Photo of page of instructions in an Anita Goodesign All Access book

The Techniques

Another thing I really like about Anita Goodesign is the variety of techniques they develop. They are so inventive and creative different materials such as confetti, mylar, vinyl. They provide drawing files if you want to print on fabric that can then be embroidered. How about layering some organza to create a water color look? Would you like to just stitch out a design outline and then use fabric markers to color it. The artists and digitizers at Anita Goodesign are always coming up with a new technique to make embroidery designs even more stunning. Here are just a few examples of some of the different techniques used by Anita Goodesign in their collections.


Mylar is a shiny material that you see in balloons, but you can also be use it for appliqué in embroidery designs. It is a super fun and easy way to take your projects to the next level. Check out a previous blog, Shiny and Bright: A Mylar Embroidery Christmas Moose, for a look at the technique.

The digitizers at Anita Goodesign incorporate a special fill stitch that covers the mylar appliqué to make sure it stays in tack. The best part of this collection is the seasonal versatility in combination with the use of mylar. This gives you the ability to jazz up all of your quilts and projects year round!

Anita Goodesign Mylar Santa


Instead of using applique in these designs you can use scraps of fabric, yarn, thread and other notions that you would normally discard. Each design uses assorted confetti to match the color of the design elements, the end result is truly beautiful.

Photo of Anita Goodesign using confetti accents

Watercolor Confetti

Watercolor confetti incorporates a placement stitch and tacking stitch as with traditional appliqué. This technique is unique because it uses a combination of confetti and appliqué layering to mimic traditional hand painted brush strokes.

Watercolor Confetti is a creative way to make your quilts and projects stand out. The layering of organza appliqué gives each design personality. Using different combinations of organza colors and layering techniques gives you the ability to create your own work of art.

Photo of Anita Goodesign made by layering organza to create a watercolor look

Printed Fabric

Printed Fabric is one of those techniques that every quilter is interested in, but not everyone knows how to do it! I wrote a previous blog, How to Make Printable Fabric , on how to print on your own fabric. You can, of course, use the fabric sheets specifically made for printing.

Collections that use printed fabric include pdf files with the drawings for the printed fabric.

Photo of Anita Goodesign quilt block using printed fabric with embroidery

Color Your Own

Adult coloring books are all the rage right now. Turns out there are health benefits too! They improve focus and spur creativity. Just like embroidery, it allows us to “turn-off” from a busy day and calm our mind. Why not combine the two activities together to create a breathtaking project?

There are several Anita Goodesign Collections that are stitched so that you can “color your own”. Color Me with Stitches and Prayer Garden are a couple of examples.

3-D Collections

Everything from dolls to flowers to gift tags are part of Anita Goodesign’s 3-D collections. Create the perfect stuffed friend for that special person in your life to bring on any adventure with Dolls 1, 2, 3Add accent petals or butterflies to a wall hanging such as Cherry Blossom Tile Scene 

Photo of dolls made with Anita Goodesign Dolls 1,2,3 Illustration of 3-D butterfly from Anita Goodesign Cherry Blossom Tile Scene

 In the Hoop Quilting

In the hoop quilting got me hooked in the first place. I am still amazed at the ease of creating a quilt block, complete with stippling and perhaps even folded fabric borders. I especially love the precision of each block. It is so easy to join the blocks together perfectly so that everything lines up.

Photo of Quilting 1,2,3 Collection from Anita Goodesign

Anita Goodesign All Access

Anita Goodesign All Access Logo

When I first started with Anita Goodesign they had a system of “clubs” depending on your interest. The Diamond Club (I want it all!), the Embroidery Club or the Quilting Club. Now, however, they have simplified their offerings with a single club called All Access.

Table of Contents from an Anita Goodesign All Access book

Members of the exclusive All Access embroidery club receive everything Anita Goodesign releases at the best value possible. Each month, members receive a beautiful full color

magazine containing fully illustrated tutorials for all design collections released that month, as well as industry insight, an exclusive “Coming Soon” section, deals on past collections, and much more. Through the designs themselves and the magazine, All Access provides everything you need to enjoy your passion.

This club is really a bargain considering all you get each month. If you are interested in joining the All Access club, please stop in to one of our stores to discuss your options with one of our sales staff.

Anita Goodesign All Access Logo

Of course, if you are not an All Access member you can always buy individual collections.

My Favorites

Okay, so I can’t pick a favorite, but here’s a few pictures of some of the projects I have completed using Anita Goodesign collections.

Confetti Spring and Summer with Free Motion Frenzy

On Point Autumn with Autumn Bounty 

Photo of wall hanging made from On Point Autumn Anita Goodesign Collection

Mylar Christmas

Pledge of Allegiance

Photo of wall hanging made from Pledge of Allegiance Anita Goodesign Collection

Quilt For All Seasons – Summer

Photo of quilt made from Quilt for All Seasons, Summer Anita Goodesign Collection

Botanical Impressions

Photo of table runner made from Anita Goodesign's Botanical Impressions collection

Faith Quilt

Quilt made from Anita Goodesign Faith collection

When I asked my grandkids what collection they’d like for me to make into a quilt for them, they picked blocks from several different collections. It was a challenge to figure out how to put them together.

Dragons, robots, space ships, flowers and insects were used for my Grandson.

Photo of Quilt made from various Anita Goodesign collections

I used unicorns, cats, flowers, butterflies, floral animals in a quilt for my Granddaughter. Yippee! This was one of my UFO’s that is now, finally, an OFU!

Photo of quilt made from a variety of different Anita Goodesign collections


The possibilities are endless with all the wonderful designs available to you from Anita Goodesign. So,check out their collections online, and let us order it for you if we don’t have it in stock. Here’s a coupon for 30% off a Full, Mini or Project collection.

Coupon for Anita Goodesign collection








Cathy Ellsaesser


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