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.




Everyone is Talking about Think Board

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Around the Table Dresden Placemats
Saturday, December 17, 2016

I like the concept, but the directions are "sloppy." Nowhere in the supply list does it mention the felt or the batting (how much?). Also, I would never use a high loft batting in a placemat, or a table runner, as I think that it would be too unstable for a glass. The next time I make these, I will cut out the batting (I use flannel) and spray baste it to the wrong side of the Dresden plate before I put the Dresden plate on the felt to cut out. I have not yet washed the finished placemat, and am hoping that the single layer of felt does not curl up, or become distorted after washing/drying.
Fun Great Gift!
Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Teatime Quilted Tablecloth
Friday, February 24, 2017

I made this today but your cutting directions need to be changed. You only need 4 of color 1 and color 3 4.5 squares for the triangles. Also the inner border, you only need 2 cuts as WOF is long enough to cut each in half to fit the sides.
Great Machine
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I've had this machine for only a week now. I bought it used from a lady who makes her own clothes, but she no longer needed the machine. During the purchase, she noted that she is almost sad that it's better to give it away because of how well the machine performed. (I also bought it along side a computerized machine of another brand.} She demoed the machine for us, showing it worked and gave us everything (including the box it came in!) She took amazing care of this machine. I have used it a few times now, and the directions for threading were easy to follow (albeit my hands are quite large so the lower looper was a pain, but that is no fault to the machine or brand.) And I recommend this machine to anyone who wants to learn to serge and wants a machine that can grow with them. I will happily use this machine time and time again.
S9 Review
Sunday, February 25, 2018

I love, love, love my S9! It's sews and embroiders beautifully and it's simplicity of use amazes me. I would recommend this machine for both a beginner and an experienced seamstress. If I would ask anything of Janome it would be to upgrade the programming to run a larger hoop size. I understand that it can't get much wider but there is most definitely room for it to go longer. That is the only limitation of this machine.
Monday, February 26, 2018

I purchased a Memorycraft 15000 a few years ago and it was the best purchase I ever made! This machine can do just about anything you would would ever want! I love the capability of using the Acuedit app to set up my embroidery pattern on my Ipad and then download it to the machine! I love how my embroidery looks upon completion and I love all the good lighting it has to light up your workspace. That way you don’t need to worry about where to set up your machine. It also has plenty of room to do machine embroidery on any size quilts! There are many decorative stitches from which to choose that are outstanding! It’s hard to choose which one to use! There are so many great features it is hard to decide what I love the most. If you want to buy only one machine to last a lifetime, I would recommend this one!
S9 Review
Sunday, February 24, 2019

The S9 is amazing. I learned to sew by hand when I was just 5 and in my grandmothers way as she was quilting. I took seeing classes in high school until they would no longer let me sign up. The S9 makes me appreciate my current skills as well as motivate me to want to learn more. This machine is awesome.
Horizon Memory Craft 15000
Thursday, November 19, 2020

My Janome Horizon Memory Craft 15000 is fantastic! I love, love, love this machine! When I came across the Eye for and Eye embroidery design today, I wanted to make it. However, the embroidery file is missing. Nothing downloads when I select the download button. Please help!
Treat Bag fun!
Monday, August 16, 2021

I made the Halloween treat bag for my new granddaughter and I’m sure it will last for years. No embroidery machine so I appliquéd the lettering. Need a little more skirt fabric for a better gathered look, and I used thin double-bias tape for the skirt hem, over edge stitch on skirt sides. I’m pleased with my results!
Very helpful tutorial
Wednesday, October 25, 2023

I want to say thank you for teaching me this method of applique. I was able to do it with a small letters. This method is the best so far from all of those I've seen and tried.
So useful
Thursday, November 30, 2023

I'd like to express my gratitude for teaching me this appliqué method. I successfully applied it with small letters, and, so far, it's the most effective among all the methods I've seen and tried.

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