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/


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Plans Change...

Hello friends - I apologize for not returning sooner with the promised new cross stitch design sneak peek....unfortunately, I had a touch of some sort of nasty flu the last couple days and it slowed me down a bit...but I am happily feeling better today - I have finally kept some food down and worked out at the gym this morning, so it's all good. 

As I mentioned in my previous post, I did go fishing with my husband last Saturday...and this time, I did catch some fish! I had to chuckle at many of your responses to my post about having a hard time just sitting still and fishing for hours...and this time I did take my Nook and a little stitching project with me, but I didn't get them out of my bag, as I was actually catching some fish - in fact, I caught the biggest fish of the day - a two and a half pound bass (I know, that doesn't sound large, but my husband assures me, that in Iowa, that is a good fish - and I also know, he is probably boosting my ego, so I keep going out on the lake with him) - you can see I was extremely happy in the photo (I know, not my best look - we were up at 5:30 AM to get on the water before the extreme heat, so hair and make-up weren't an option). Oh, and for those who might question whether we keep what we catch - no, we catch and release...

So, as promised, here is the peek at the new cross stitch model I have been working on...I had a special plan for this design, but sometimes plans must change, so I have decided to release it (along with a couple others) once it is complete. I have a title for it and a finishing idea...so give me some time to get everything (including the stitching) done, then I will post all the details here! Cross Stitch designing has always brought me immense joy, and it is nice to work on some new project ideas...


I planned to share a couple more things today...but Miss Schatzi needs to be picked up from the vet (just a routine check-up) and I have a pile of work to get to when I return...so again, plans change...but I'll be back soon with a new creative post. Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

"Flurries in the Firs"

Summer temperatures arrived early in Iowa and I am not even remotely thinking about the winter holidays...but if you are "one of those" early bird needleworkers already working on Christmas ornaments, then you are in luck (and WAY too ahead of the game), because the Just CrossStitch Annual Christmas Ornament Preview Issue is here! If you have been enjoying my woodland ornament series, then you will be happy to see Blue Ribbon Designs included in this issue. You can find "Flurries in the Firs" in the the August 2016 Issue, which is now available.

My 2016 preview ornament complements my woodland ornaments from the past several years and uses Cross Stitch (over-two), Back Stitch, and Smyrna Cross Stitch. I worked the model on 40-count Mocha linen from Weeks Dye Works (same as previous ornaments in this series) and used Weeks Dye Works cotton floss. I opted for a flat-finish with two-tone cord as an embellishment....and as a little finishing tip for those of you using the 40-count linen - I used standard hotel room keys padded with cotton batting (or you could use fake or expired credit cards) instead of the padded mounting board that the magazine suggests...they are the perfect size!



Look for another Blue Ribbon Designs woodland series ornament in the JCS Christmas Ornament Issue out later this year. I'll be back in the next couple days with the sneak peek of my new cross stitch design...I ran out of time to get an "in progress" photo today...I'm going fishing with my hubby EARLY on Saturday morning, so I am writing this on Friday night and scheduling it to post on Saturday while we are out on the water...wish me luck (and yes, this time, I am taking a book and a small stitching project)...maybe this time I'll catch a fish!

Friday, June 17, 2016

In A Happy Place

Beautiful butterfly spotted on an evening walk...
Hello friends - I've missed you! I was ready to sit down and write this post a few days ago, but the air conditioning in our home stopped working during a heatwave and the temperature in my studio loft was well above 90 degrees...so I really didn't want to use my computer or my sewing machine until it was fixed. I was thrilled to see the repairman yesterday afternoon and it was a quick fix (whew!)...it just took the rest of the day to get the house back to a normal temperature. I am thrilled to return to my studio today - back to business, and functioning without overheating! I have a pile of projects to catch-up on...including an assortment of needlework finishing pieces, a quilted wall hanging, and several custom sewing/quilting projects. I did manage to get some model stitching done the last couple days which was a great thing! The last few weeks have been business as usual - lots of creativity and custom/freelance work, lots of time in the gym, dogs walks, and household/yard projects - I've been in a happy place...keeping busy and focused and finding some personal clarity. Of course, I have been taking some photos along the way....

More custom zippered pouches for a customer...

More custom tool bag/zippered pouches for a customer...

My prize package from the AccuQuilt Quilt Block Contest...lots of goodies!
I also received a Craftsy Class (I chose a "quilt as you go" class) and
an AccuQuilt merchandise credit - which I used today to order some
Studio applique cutting dies (I'll show you which ones when they arrive).

Simba taking over my stitching chair...

Schatzi in the yard...

Schatzi at the park...

I'll be back tomorrow to share my latest magazine piece published in Just CrossStitch magazine...and maybe a photo of my current cross stitch model in progress....I am so excited to share a peek of this new design with you...we'll see how much progress I make tonight...

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Just For Fun...

Can you believe it is already the last day of May?! - how are the months disappearing so quickly? I hope you enjoyed a nice holiday weekend and (if you are in the US) spent a moment reflecting and remembering those who have died in service to our country.

After being on a business trip for two weeks, my husband (thankfully) returned last Friday and we were able to get the boat out on the water on Saturday. It was a lovely afternoon to be outside...and while my husband managed to catch some fish, I didn't catch any (boo hoo). I am quickly learning that fishing may not be "my thing"...I am not good at relaxing or sitting still (I know, shocker!), so casting a line and just waiting for a fish to bite is almost pure torture for me - I honestly don't know how my husband and his buddies can go on week long fishing trips - a couple hours without seeing a fish and am ready to head home. Now, don't get me wrong, I love being out on the water and taking in nature...I just think I need to bring a good book or some stitching along with me (especially when the fist aren't biting). In any case, it was good to be out of my studio/office and just breathe....


Before I forget, I just have to share this photo I captured of Schatzi curled up on the corner of the sofa - she usually doesn't sit still for long...and if she sees a camera, forget about it...but I came home from the gym while she was sound asleep and I managed to get a photo of the moment...



Let's see - what else has been happening...oh...we purchased a new dining room table and chairs - the first set we have ever picked out (and we have been together almost 20 years) - the others have all been secondhand. This set is counter height (which I love) and the table has two leafs that I removed for our every day living...and one side has a bench instead of two chairs. I was second guessing my choice (mainly the color) when we returned home...but when it was delivered I was thrilled - it worked out perfectly. Here is a photo of the new set-up...followed by a lunch photo (yep, I have been enjoying the table daily!)...




I have been sewing, sewing, sewing, and stitching daily...not much I can show you right now, but some fun things are on the way! Here is an image of what is currently on my table...



I also have to share, that one of my quilt block designs in AccuQuilt's Quilt Block Contest received an honorable mention as one on the top ten blocks this year - WOO HOO! I just found out it was my "Ninja Star" design...which totally surprised me (I had a different block that received quite a few votes and just assumed it was that one). I will be receiving a very fun (and useful!) prize package which includes $50 to spend at AccuQuilt, a free Craftsy class, a plethora of fabric bundles (YAY!!), and a package of batting. My prize hasn't arrived yet, but I'll be sure to post a photo when it gets here. I don't think this particular block got many (if any) consumer votes, but if you did vote for it - THANK YOU! 



Another thing to share - a couple weeks ago, I finally jumped on board with Snapchat...which I really enjoy (almost as much as Instagram) - I think it is because I LOVE taking photos. Anyway, now that I understand how it works, I really need some friends to share with...so, if you are on Snapchat, you will find me as brd_girl (Belinda K N). I share things of more of a personal nature on there (like a fishing video or a picture at the gym or my new haircut or Schatzi running through the hose in the backyard), as well as images in my studio and things I am working on...


Finally, here is an image I took early this morning in my flower garden...it is an evening primrose...which many may consider to be a weed, but the brilliant yellow flowers are quite spectacular...life is truly beauty full!


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Let's Build A Birdhouse

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 "Let's Build a Birdhouse" machine appliqué  pillow with all the details, so you can make one of your very own...

This colorful pillow is created with machine appliqué and can be worked up rather quickly. It uses the following cutting dies:
GO! Qube Mix & Match 8” Block (55776)
GO! Simple Shaps by Edyta Sitar (55178)
....along with the GO! Fabric Cutter (55100S) or GO! Baby Fabric Cutter (55600) or GO! Big Electric Fabric Cutter (55500).

This project is great for scraps or fat quarters...and while I used batik fabrics on a linen fabric base, it would look great in a variety of color pallets...and one of my favorite things about this design - once you build the birdhouse, you can embellish it with your favorite flowers and outdoor life - I chose yellow daisies and birds, but it would look great with an assortment of flowers and bees, butterflies, or dragonflies! It finishes a nice size (15”W x 15”H) - perfect for summer 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/?p=14929

...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!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Spring Projects and Creative Sparks

It is a lovely, sunny afternoon in central Iowa...and Schatzi and I just returned home from a 6+ mile training walk. I love this time of year when beautiful blooms are around every corner and the air is fresh and clean. I have been getting in my walks and training each day and I continue to be full of inspiration in my studio...plus I am spring cleaning and simplifying a room per day (so far I have the dining room and kitchen complete and I will be working on the living room tonight). There is something refreshing about deep cleaning each spring and letting go of unused items - and with my husband away on business for two weeks, it is the perfect time - for me, a room a day is manageable and I can fit it into my busy schedule.

Here are a few photos since my last post...several completed pieces from my studio and some inspiring images from my training walks...

Another fun zippered project bag I  created for a birthday gift...
I love it when fussy cutting works perfectly!
Fabric is long retired - Garden Party by Blackbird Designs for Moda.

Tote bag I created to match the project bag - both my own designs...
this set was sent to a very dear friend for her birthday...
Fabric is long retired - Garden Party by Blackbird Designs for Moda.

Miss Schatzi and I were startled by a female mallard duck flying out of a bush...
then we saw this amazing nest with eight eggs...

Sweet pea plants in bloom at my local park...

All the recent rain has brought out the blooms...this was my first daisy spotting...

Another zippered pouch made for a faraway friend's birthday...I placed several
wrapped treasures inside...

 These five custom "tea themed" zippered project bags and tool pouches
shipped out to a new home yesterday...

I spotted a beautiful iris garden on my walk this afternoon - this beauty stood out to me...
perhaps a bit of inspiration for a future project...

Time to get Simba walked, have a bite to eat, finish up another quilting project...and then get to work on today's spring cleaning. I hope you are having a happy and productive week!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A Colorful Catch-Up

Since my last post, I have been in extreme creative mode (full disclosure, I am usually in extreme creative mode!). It has been a busy couple weeks in my studio...finishing work, designing work, custom orders, birthday projects, Mother's Day projects, and model stitching (along with a few things I can't show you just yet). Here is a glimpse at some of my recent finishes...

Finishing order from a customer...two cross stitch Prairie Schooler Santas to
be finished into pillow ornaments...I chose the materials and finishing technique...



Customer order for zippered project and tool bags in progress....

Two finished project bags and three finished tool pouches for a customer...

Mother's Day gifts in progress...



A birthday gift for a dear friend...my own pattern designs...a tote bag and coordinating
zippered bag - fabric is long retired (Beach House by Blackbird Designs for Moda).

A "Slouchy Backpack" made at a special friend's request...I love how it turned out!
Pattern: The Slouchy Backpack by Bonnie Christine
Fabrics: Modern Mixers II by Studio E Fabrics

I also have to mention something truly special that arrived in my mailbox. One of the things I love about social media is connecting with fellow stitchers, sewists and quilters from around the world - and I feel extremely blessed to have a fabulous circle of virtual friends. As I have matured, I have learned to surround myself with those who make me want to be a better person - those who have a positive outlook on life - and those who are filled with joy. Through my love of quilting/sewing, I met an AMAZING online friend who fills all three of those categories - she has the biggest heart and is always giving to others - she is one of those people who truly makes a difference. Last week, I was on the receiving end of her kindness - she mailed me an extraordinary package that brightened my day more than you can imagine. It included a very special AccuQuilt cutting die and a lovely assortment of Aurifil Thread (my very favorite thread, but a little out of my price range for daily sewing)...and it was wrapped and tied in beautiful batik fabric with a handwritten note. This RAK lifted my spirits and put me in a happy, creative, colorful place...it even makes me smile to look at this photo....I can't wait to make time to play with the little butterfly die (hopefully in the next day or two)....


I have a pile of projects on my sewing table (as usual), so there will be more photos to share with you VERY soon...but for now, I will leave you with an image of the fabrics I am currently working with - aren't they cheerful?! Enjoy the rest of your week and take a little time to do something you enjoy...

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!