Wednesday, April 27, 2016

"An Umbrella for Two" Table Runner

Hello creative friends! Be sure to head over to the AccuQuilt Blog for my latest guest blog post...there you will find a complete tutorial for my "An Umbrella for Two" table runner with all the details, so you can make one of your very own...

This April showers table runner is made with some basic piecing and machine appliqué and can be worked up rather quickly. It uses the following cutting dies:
GO! Qube Mix & Match 12” Block (55778)
GO! Dancing Umbrella by Edyta Sitar (55178)
GO! Birds (55324)
GO! Strip Cutter-2” (1½” Finished) (55025 or 55164) (Binding)
....along with the GO! Fabric Cutter (55100S) or GO! Big Electric Fabric Cutter (55500).

This project is great for scraps or fat quarters...and while I used cheerful primary colors, it would look great in a variety of color pallets! It finishes a nice size (36”W x 12”H) - perfect for springtime decorating.


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/an-umbrella-for-two-table-runner-a-quilting-tutorial/

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


Monday, April 25, 2016

Springtime Snapshots

Hello friends! The last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind, but filled with good things - I continue to keep busy with my creative endeavors, training for the Komen 3-Day, and all the usual household things (including yardwork and planting). I even managed to get out for an afternoon on the boat with my husband - we took Miss Schatzi along for the first time (and more than likely the last - she was a handful)! Model stitching has been happening each evening...sewing, quilting, and pattern writing has been happening each day...long training walks are in full swing...and my design sketch books are full of new ideas. Here are a few photos to catch you up...



A little design work with EQ7 and BlockBase...

Lunch and a trip to the local quilt shop with my very dear friend...
I brought home these goodies...

Schazti snuggles selfie...

Simba holding down the stairs...in his favorite sweater, in his favorite spot...

Schatzi at the park after retrieving the ball (what seemed like) a million times...

A custom order of Stitch Starter Ruler and Pocket Sleeve Sets...

A new project ready for binding...

My latest AccuQuilt blog project...details/tutorial will be posted later this week...
So there you have it...my last couple weeks in a nutshell...projects are going on behind the scenes that I can't share just yet, but I will as soon as I can (some really fun stuff!). Have a great week and I'll be back soon with my latest project tutorial....

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Nothing But Blue Skies

It's a sunny afternoon here in Iowa and the winds have started to calm...maybe, just maybe, spring is around the corner! If I have my way, soon I will be mowing the lawn and planting new flowers...and I can finally do my long training walks outside.

I have been hanging out in my studio all week, still working on a huge freelance job...but it is almost complete and I am excited to move on to new projects! I have a nice pile of custom project orders ready to assemble, so I am looking forward to a few solid days at the sewing machine. Plus, I am really enjoying my latest model stitching and can't wait to share a new cross stitch design with you soon.

In the midst of all the irons I have in the fire, I decided to design a handful of quilt blocks for AccuQuilt's 2016 Quilt Block Contest. If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you know how much I enjoy designing quilt blocks and projects...I just love working with shapes, design, and color...and I have fun putting together my entries for this contest every year. The voting for the contest is now live...and I am hoping you will check out all the entries for this year...and if you like my blocks, throw a vote my way. The criteria for the contest is to design an original block that can be created with AccuQuilt dies...plus it really should look good enlarged to fit a 17' x 17' sign displayed at AccuQuilt Headquarters in Omaha, NE. My cheerful and colorful blocks all follow these specific guidelines and were designed especially for this contest.

This year, you can vote once a day for one block - now through April 21st (so make sure you pick your favorite). You can view all the entries by visiting:
http://www.accuquilt.com/shop/contest
...or if you have a favorite block below, simply click on the link below it to cast a vote - I would greatly appreciate it. You can also visit the contest link and type "Belinda" in the search bar to see all eight of my entries.

It is fun to look through all 149 entries and see the diverse group of talent this contest attracts....even the entries that don't follow the guidelines (and I was surprised to see quite a few) are interesting. So, go check out all the design inspiration and cast one vote for your favorite each day...and if that happens to be one of my entries, I would be thrilled!

Ribbon Star
http://wshe.es/x4aRfIa3
A Splash of Summer
http://wshe.es/HQS7jg0X

Sunny Park
http://wshe.es/SeYsaOil
Shady Park
http://wshe.es/GrcxFKlp

Ninja Star
http://wshe.es/038UK8Eb
Nothing But Blue Skies
http://wshe.es/WR9LS8TJ

Wrapped Up
http://wshe.es/9eiC9BVt
Rays Over Rows
http://wshe.es/mX6IDiBS

These blocks all bring me joy and I hope you see something special in one (or more) of them. With your votes, I have the opportunity to win some AMAZING quilty prizes (including a feature in Quiltmaker Magazine), so thank you for taking the time to look!

I'm off to do some design work for the next few hours - then my husband and I have dinner reservations at a favorite restaurant to celebrate our wedding anniversary (we celebrated 16 years this week!). Enjoy the rest of your weekend....

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

A Colorful Catch-Up

It is a cold, windy, rainy night and I am just about ready to head to my cozy stitching nest for the rest of the "evening". I am still working away on a huge pattern writing freelance design project - it is monopolizing most of each day, but I continue to make time to do a little model stitching each night (for my sanity!). Here is a sneak peek at what I am working on at the moment (right). I also have a couple other colorful/creative things to share tonight...

A couple new books that are full of sewing inspiration arrived a few days ago - I managed to take a break this past weekend and give them a quick once over with a hot cup of tea...oh how I wish there were more hours in the day! These books are full of cheerful ideas to keep me busy...you know, in my "free time"...

 Also, if you ever wondered what 200 colorful 14-inch zippers look like, here is a photo to quench your curiosity - I go through quite a few making my zippered pouches and bags and it was time to stock up...I'm obsessed...and these make me happy!


Etsy has launched a new website program called "Pattern by Etsy"...it gives Etsy shop owners the ability to have a stand-a-lone eCommerce website that directly links to their Etsy shop. I already have my own eCommerce website that took me moths to build and perfect, but thought I would give the 30-day trial a chance (it's always good to try new things!). It is a nice, simplified twist on the standard Etsy shop - you can find my new "pattern" shop here:
http://blueribbondesigns.patternbyetsy.com/


 Etsy has also been "remodeling" and ALL shops will have a new look - they started updating today and although it may take up to a week for all shops to have the new format, I think you will like the changes. Sometimes you need to freshen things up...so while you might still be seeing my original shop, here is a just a peek at the new layout...
http://etsy.com/shop/BlueRibbonDesigns


Finally, here is a small sign of spring...and I can't wait for more! This was taken a few days ago...we actually had a few nice days...but then the winds and cold returned and now it is feeling like winter yet again. These daffodils are giving me hope...


I hope you are starting to see signs of spring in your corner of the world...

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Spring Fling

I am guest posting on the AccuQuilt Blog today...and the spotlight is on my latest design creation "Spring Fling". This bright and cheerful springtime wall hanging (measuring 24" W x 18" H) will definitely bring joy to your favorite spot...and I give you a full tutorial, so you can make one of your very own. This project uses the new GO! Qube Mix & Match 6" Block to create the six 6" traditional quilt blocks...and a couple GO! applique dies for the center motifs.  I provide a full detailed tutorial with images that will have you sewing  your own springtime project in no time! So, stop by the AccuQuilt Blog for all the details...you have plenty of time to finish up this seasonal project before your garden is in full bloom...
https://www.accuquilt.com/blog/education/go-product-tutorials/spring-fling-wall-hanging-a-quilting-tutorial/




Sunday, March 27, 2016

Hippity Hoppity

Wishing all my family and friends that are celebrating today a very Blessed Easter...I hope your day is filled with sunshine and happiness...

I am still busy working on a gigantic freelance pattern designing/writing project (and will be for the next few weeks)...but I wanted to pop in and share just a few photos from the week. I managed to finish up a springtime quilting project that will be featured on the AccuQuilt Blog this coming week (more on that in a few days)...I started working a few needlework finishing and sewing projects for a customer...and I have been diligently stitching a new needlework model every evening. So, while my days are filled with computer work, I am still making time to be creative!

A little peek at the binding process for my springtime quilting project...more on this
will be posted later this week....

I've been doing so much sewing/quilting lately, it was time to refill my thread
boxes...I just had to take a photo of the pretty colors...

The sweetest package arrived from a very dear friend this week -  a delayed
birthday surprise. It was filled with fabulous goodies, including this wonderful
sewing machine pincushion (and yes, that is a tape measure)...

For those of you on Ello, you can now find me too:
https://ello.co/brdgirl

I hate to rush off, but I have to get my Blue Ribbon Stuffed Mushrooms in the oven (I prepared them last night) - Travis's mom is cooking an Easter lunch and we are headed over there shortly...we are also celebrating her birthday that took place earlier this week. I hope your day is filled with family, friends, food, and festivities...

Monday, March 21, 2016

Monday Musings

Just a quick post today, as I am knee deep in a HUGE project (and when I say huge, that is definitely an understatement) - I will be be wearing my designing/pattern writing hat (sitting at my computer) for the next couple weeks, working on a (somewhat overwhelming) freelance job. I have been keeping busy with my assorted creative endeavors - stitching, sewing, quilting, designing and working on a TON of new things...plus lots of walking and training.

Over the weekend, the most amazing thing happened - I was finally able to replace my desktop computer, thanks to a nice tax return (regular readers know my ancient desktop computer died early this year and I have been working on my laptop). I spent all day Sunday getting it set-up and loading my design files, software, and tools....and today I am excited to get back to work on my FAST new system. My husband also insisted I get a REAL office chair, instead of the old folding chair I have been using for as long as I can remember...it's like having a brand new office...I feel very blessed and overjoyed! This is my fist blog post using my new computer and monitor and it is so much easier/faster - YAY! 

Miss Schatzi turned three-years-old last week and we celebrated by taking a walk around the lake (her favorite) and she got to be off-leash. She didn't get in the water, as there has been some flooding and the inlet I usually take her on was in bad shape...but she still had a marvelous time! I can't believe she is already three - seems like we just got her yesterday. She continues to be be a great training partner for the Komen 3-Day...and makes me smile on a daily basis...


This is how Simba spends his time while Schatzi and I are on the move...

I have started stitching a new model and I am enjoying every minute - it incorporates a plethora of my favorite things and the cheerful colors make me happy! Evenings are my designated stitch time and I am making progress, slowly, but surely...


My Etsy Shop has been busy and I thank you all for your orders and wonderful feedback! I continue to develop plans for future items...and have been color sorting all my fabric scraps for future projects...




I also have a few photos of some fabulous birthday gifts that I am finally getting around to posting...I am so blessed to have creative and talented friends that "get me" and make me the most incredible presents...plus keep me stocked with beautiful fabrics, trims, notions, and patterns/books!...and they find me the BEST squirrel and owl keepsakes...





Whimsical fabric - brown squirrel is a tea infuser - blue squirrel is a pen...TOO FUN!

Finally, I want to thank those of you who have been keeping my family in your thoughts and prayers with the passing of Travis's aunt (mother of our godson)...thank you for your condolences and comforting words - she fought an incredibly brave battle and I know she is now resting peacefully and pain-free, with the most fabulous wings!...and Travis and I have one more angel watching over us...

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

My Happy Place

I have been continuing to reside in my happy place this week - working on a plethora of stitching, sewing, and quilting projects that bring me personal joy. I can't wait to give you a little peek at my latest cross stitch model - it makes me smile from ear to ear (yes, those are the fabric and thread colors shown right)....and I charted a couple more new pieces over the last few days. I have also been catching up on some long overdue customer sewing...and I have almost completed a beautiful spring wall hanging the features 6" traditional quilt blocks and machine appliqué (more on that in the coming weeks). Plus, I have been busy creating items for my Etsy shop and listing new things - including more Stitch Starter Ruler with Pocket Sleeve sets and some new Blue Ribbon Designs cross stitch chart bundles....and I have some new zippered pouches (I call them tool pouches) that will list very soon - they measure 9.25" W x 7.25" H and are a great size for multiple uses!






I continue to go to the gym each morning and have been getting in some great 3-Day training walks in the afternoon - yes, some of them have even been outdoors, now that the weather is starting to improve...and yes, Miss Schatzi is thrilled to be getting in some good mileage outside. It has been uplifting to see the sun shining and I can't wait until spring truly arrives. I hope beautiful weather is arriving in your area and that you are feeling inspired...