Think Board

Created By: Thomas Knauer
Skill Level: Intermediate

Here are some thoughts from project designer Thomas Knauer -

"I made the first of these Think Boards for my daughter (Bee) as a place to write down ideas now that she is starting in on, or to draw something she wanted to have in her room for a while. It is a Think Board because I wanted Bee to see it as a place to engage in writing (and drawing) as an active thinking process, not just a method of recording thoughts or ideas that are finished. So, I called it a Think Board, a place where she can go to think things out through writing or drawing or those inscrutable markings that only she seems to understand..."

Janome Supplies Required
  • Janome Embroidery Machine - Thomas uses the Horizon Memory Craft 12000
  • Large Embroidery Hoop
  • Thomas Knauer Embroidery Design Downloads
Fabric and Notions Required
  • Linen blend (such as Essex linen by Michael Miller Fabrics): 20" wide x 18" (will be trimmed to 15" x 13.5" after being embroidered)
  • Fusible tear-away stabiliser for embridery
  • Solid contrast linen blend: 15" wide x 1.5"
  • Chalkboard fabric: 15" wide x 18.5"
  • 19" x 36" piece of quilting cotton for backing
  • 17" x 34" piece of Pellon 2-sided Peltex Ultrafirm (or similar product)
  • Embroidery thread in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, and dark grey
  • 3 strips of quilting cotton at 2" x WoF for binding


  1. Using the included embroidery file stitch the brain and text onto the large piece of linen blend. Make sure to use several layers of stabiliser.

  2. Once the embroidery is complete, trim your embroidered linen to 15" wide by 13.5" tall, making sure the embroidery is centred.

  3. Using a 1/4" seam allowance stitch your contrast strip to the bottom edge of the linen.
  4. Fold the bottom edge of the contrast strip under (a 1/4" will do) and press. Now top-stitch the folded edge onto the top edge of your chalkboard fabric. You have now completed the top for your portable think board.
  5. Folling the manufacturer's instructions for your heavyweight interfacing, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of your backing fabric, making sure to center it.
  6. Now lay your Think Board top face down and lay the fused interfacing and backing fabric over it. The right side of the backing fabric should be facing up. Now fuse the three layers together. As the chalkboard fabric is not made to be ironed I recommend taking your time with a slightly cooler than usual iron and using a press-cloth.
  7. First top-stitch the top (seamed edge) of the contrast strip, and then stitch around all four outer edges of the chalkboard top to firmly secure the three layers. Now trim away the excess interfacing and backing.
  8. Bind as you would a quilt.




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