Friday, August 26, 2016

Midnight Meeting

Can you believe how quickly the summer months have passed?? - I can't believe it is already almost September...where does the time go?! Halloween items are popping up everywhere...and stores are already getting out their Christmas holiday displays...personally, I'd be content to keep the summer months here just a little bit longer...but it is time to start working on Halloween and holiday items, if you want to have them completed in time to display this year...

The current issue of Just CrossStitch Magazine (October 2016) features a Halloween Ornament Spooktacular that includes twelve ornaments to stitch up and decorate your Halloween tree....and yes, you can find Blue Ribbon Designs in this feature. My Halloween ornament this year is titled "Midnight Meeting" and is a fun, quick stitch!  You can locate my ornament and all the details on page 43. The entire ornament is worked in cross stitch...and I used Weeks Dye Works linen (Confederate Gray) and Weeks Dye Works cotton floss (a DMC conversion is also provided). There are TONS of fabulous ways to finish your Halloween ornaments - for this particular ornament, I chose a flat-finish....and I used two-tone twisted cord in gold and black for a special touch. This is the autumn issue, so there are a plethora of fall designs, as well...including Seasons in Chalk Art: Fall (a collaboration by Priscilla Blain and Cathy Habermann of Hands On Design) and Amish Apple Sampler from Nikyscreations. You can find this issue of Just CrossStitch magazine at your favorite needlework shop or on newsstands now...

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Stitching, Sewing and Organizing

An original mini quilt in stand - designed and created
 especially for a dear friend's birthday.
Welcome friends! I know it has been a few weeks...and that hasn't been intentional...I've had a lot to share - I've just been on auto-pilot. My workload has been quite heavy since the end of July and I am keeping focused and trying to catch-up on projects before I take a mini vacation in September (I hate to take time away when I have piles on my studio counter). The last few weeks have been filled with customer orders...including countless project and tool bags, stitch starter ruler sleeves, placemats and napkins, machine embroidered Halloween ornaments, even a sampler quilt...several stacks of needlework finishing...a couple birthday gifts...an AccuQuilt blog post project...and a few things I can't share with you quite yet...plus model stitching. I have also been doing some major cleaning/organizing in the studio, thanks to a very dear friend who gifted me bags and bags of FABULOUS quilting and stitching stash. Yep, it has been a busy few weeks and I am feeling accomplished (even though the list is still long). Here are some photos to sum up the last few weeks...

Fabric organization in my studio...

More shelf organizing in my studio...

Project Bag and coordinating Stitch Starter Ruler Sleeve...

Special Order - machine embroidered Halloween ornaments...

Project/Tool Bags

More Project/Tool Bags...

More Project/Tool Bags...

Even more Project/Tool Bags...

Halloween Stitch Starter Ruler Sleeve...

Custom Reversible Cloth Napkins

Needlework Finishing - Pumpkin Ornament with pocket on the back...
(see pocket below)

Needlework Finishing - Pumpkin Ornament back pocket...

Needlework Finishing - Ornament

Pile of Project Bags

...and finally here is a teaser for my August AccuQuilt Blog project...I'll be back to share all about it when it goes live on the AccuQuilt website (just be patient a few more days!)...the blocks you see in the photo are 5" finished...and that cute little tin pincushion was a gift from a dear friend that matched the blocks perfectly...

AccuQuilt August Project sneak peek...
For now, I am back to needlework finishing - I have two large orders almost complete...I have fourteen flat-finish ornaments ready for cord/trim and hangers (which I hand stitch - no glue)...then another order for six project bags is on the list for later this evening...

Thank you for stopping by for a visit today - it was nice to chat with you. Oh...and one final thing...my husband and I will be heading to Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills in South Dakota for a little mini vacation in a few weeks - if you have suggestions for must see/visit places or excursions, please do share - It will be our first time visiting the area and we want to make the most of it...and I am sure you all have some suggestions for us...

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A Slice of Summer

Hello creative friends! Be sure to head over to the AccuQuilt Blog today for my latest guest blog post...there you will find a complete tutorial for my "A Slice of Summer" placemats with all the details, so you can make a set of your very own...

These cheerful summertime placemats use traditional piecing and are perfect for a beginner...and the entire project was cut on my GO! Fabric Cutter (project is GO! Big, GO!, and GO! Baby compatible) using the GO! Qube Mix & Match 6" Block and the 2" Strip Cutter:



This project is great for scraps or fat quarters...and while I used summery fabrics, these placemates would look great in a variety of colors/prints or holiday fabrics. Each placemat finishes 18"W x 12"H - and the instructions are written for a four placemat set. Another interesting fact about this project: although the center of each placemat is a 9” quilt block, I used the 6” GO! Qube to create it - just another versatile way to use the GO! Qube.

To complete the look, you can easily make coordinating cloth napkins, as you can see in my table top photo...


So be sure to stop by the AccuQuilt Blog for a materials list and step by step tutorial, with images:
https://www.accuquilt.com/blog/education/go-project-tutorials/a-slice-of-summer-placemats/

...and while you are there, check out a plethora of inspiring projects - there are endless creative ideas to get you in the sewing/quilting mood!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Sunshine and Positivity

Hello friends...thanks for stopping by today! I thought I would pop in for picture-filled blog post...I wanted to show you what has been inspiring me and a few current/recent projects. Last weekend, I headed to Illinois to visit my mom and her husband Dan at the lake for a little time away....sometimes when you feel discouraged and the weight of the world is resting on your shoulders, taking a road trip can really put things into perspective. I thought I would share some photos I took of the beautiful gardens my mom nurtures/perfects daily and the peaceful lake - these images (and my time there) brought joy to my soul and reminded me of what is really important. It was quite enjoyable attending some of the lake community's "Summerfest" activities, including a water skiing show...and visiting some of the rural/local establishments. I was also able to do some modeling stitching and a little design work surrounded by nature...and I even got to have a long, leisurely breakfast with a very dear stitching friend before heading back to Iowa.

















I managed to get quite a bit done in my studio over the last few weeks...lots of custom sewing, model stitching, and needlework finishing...and even quite a bit of design work. Here are just a few recent finishes...and I have more creative things in store to show you soon!!




Lastly...a little wisdom for a Saturday evening:
Recently, someone has been trying to steal my sunshine and intentionally hurt my feelings - even going as far as to tell me to stop designing cross stitch. It's hard not to let negative people bring you down, especially when it comes from someone you thought was there for you....we all know that familiar saying: misery (negativity) loves company. I have done a lot of self-reflection over the last month and I am choosing to be happy and better myself...surrounding myself with those who make me a better person and want good/positive things for me. I like being a happy, fun-loving person - I LOVE designing, creating, and having my own business - I like going to the gym and trying to live a healthy lifestyle - I enjoy taking care of my home, yard, and husband - I like being young at heart - and I love taking photos and sharing things that inspire me on social media. I will continue to do all those things, because they bring ME joy. My advice:
Be happy - be you (you are perfect just the way you are) - be positive.
 Don't let anyone attempt to steal your sunshine...

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Snow Much Fun

A couple months ago, I was busy working on today's feature project...yep, when we were all preparing for summer, I was hard at work on a snowman project (such is the life of a designer - always working months in advance)! I designed this "Snow Much Fun" wall hanging pattern especially for AccuQuilt...and now that they have released the pattern on their website, I am finally able to share it with you.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you know I like to use my AccuQuilt cutting die shapes in unique and creative ways...like how I designed a plethora of animals using only the GO! Owl cutting die in my GO! Talk To The Animals quilt. For the GO! Snow Much Fun Wall Hanging, I had the challenge of designing a quilt that made a fun selection of snowmen using only the GO! Holiday Accessories die and the the GO! Circle-2", 3", 5" die....add in the GO! Square-8 1/2" (8" Finished) for the applique background blocks and the GO! Strip Cutter-2 1/2" (2" Finished) for binding and you can EASILY cut this out this intricate wall hanging in an afternoon.


Since this project pattern was created for a July release, I wanted to use a bright assortment of colors...and Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton Solids seemed the perfect choice!...and although you can't see them in these images, I used some actual buttons for embellishing (instead of appliquéing some of the very small circles). I also had fun naming each of the blocks for the pattern instructions (like "Snowman Stargazer", "Snowman Snow Globe", "Snowman Love").
If you want to try one or more of these blocks, but the wall hanging seems a little daunting, here are some other suggestions...make one block and use as a mug rug...use your favorite blocks to make a table runner...one block would make a cute winter potholder or trivet...or use four blocks and make a mini quilt. Any of these options would make a heartfelt holiday gift!


So, go visit the patterns section of the AccuQuilt website and download this wintry wall hanging pattern...which for a limited time is FREE - yes, I said FREE!
http://www.accuquilt.com/shop/go-snow-much-fun-wall-hanging-pattern.html

(and during the month of July, the GO! Holiday Accessories die and the GO! Circle-2", 3", 5" die are on sale)

....and if you want to see more on how to make this cheerful project, AccuQuilt has posted a video with more details and tips for cutting all the shapes...


I hope you will make a Snow Much Fun project...and if you do, please be sure to share a photo with me - I would love to see your interpretation of my design!


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Shining Bright

I am guest posting over on the AccuQuilt Blog today...and the spotlight is on my latest patriotic design creation "Shining Bright". This Americana wall hanging/table topper (measuring 27" W x 27" H) will definitely add to your 4th of July festivities and decor...and I give you a full tutorial, so you can make one of your very own. This project uses your favorite AccuQuilt GO! Fabric Cutter and the GO! Qube Mix & Match 9" Block to create the assortment of three traditional 9" quilt blocks...and is embellished using the GO! Star-2", 3", 4" and a little basic machine appliqué. I provide a detailed tutorial with images that will have you sewing your own Independence Day project in no time! So, stop by the AccuQuilt Blog for all the specifics...this holiday project is simple enough, it can be completed before the annual fireworks!

https://www.accuquilt.com/blog/education/go-product-tutorials/shining-bright-a-patriotic-wall-hanging-quilting-tutorial/