Showing posts with label snowflakes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label snowflakes. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Autumn Leaf Ornaments

I managed to finish quite a few machine embroidered lace ornaments over the last couple weeks...if you have followed my blog for quite some time, then you know I make these to slip inside cards, tie on packages, and for seasonal decorations. These have been so popular, I decided to make even more to put in my Etsy shop...and not only did I make additional snowflakes (which are always in demand), but I made some autumn leaves...and a bunch of Halloween motifs. The autumn leaves and snowflakes are already listed in my Etsy shop and the Halloween ornaments will be posted very soon! These ornaments are made on my embroidery machine...and are technically called "free-standing lace"...they are made entirely of thread!

For those of you not familiar with an embroidery machine, here is a little idea of how these autumn leaves are made - using digitized designs, the machine embroiders the ornaments on water-soluble stabilizer...once the design is completely stitched, you put it in water and the stabilizer dissolves, leaving you with a beautiful piece of lace made completely of embroidery thread. I like to put a piece of ribbon through the hanger on each leaf or snowflake before placing it in a card or on a gift. Each large motif can take anywhere from 45 minutes to well over an hour to make, so I usually set up my machine and let them embroider while I am working on various other chores in my studio...the larger and more detailed the design, the longer they take to embroider. In the photos you can see a selection of my embroidered leaves...the size of the maple leaf is 3.91" x 3.93" and the size of the oak leaf is 2.82" x 3.94". Many digitizers offer freestanding lace designs for machine embroidery (just do a google search), but if you are interested in these particular leaf designs, they are designed by Criswell Embroidery & Design...you can purchase the digitized designs from this designer at your favorite quilt shop or download them from their website.



I will be back to post again soon with photos of the Halloween ornaments...they are truly spooktacular!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hearts & Snowflakes

Machine Embroidered Faux Tatted Hearts
Now that I am feeling much better, I have been playing catch-up with all things Blue Ribbon Designs...and one of the very few creative endeavors I can pursue while working at my desk is machine embroidery. My sewing table is only a few feet from my desk in my studio, so I am able to set-up and run my embroidery machine while I work at the computer. I have had many requests for more machine embroidered lace snowflakes, so I wanted to get a few sets put together for my Etsy shop...and with Valentine's Day right around the corner, I have been enjoying making machine embroidered motif and faux tatted hearts! I have actually been working on three different styles of machine embroidered hearts - motif hearts, faux tatted hearts, and faux tatted hearts with a pecot edge. Each heart measures just under 4" square...and is completely made of embroidery thread. I worked with several shades of red and pink - and added a ribbon hanger to each (which can be easily removed) so they can be tied to hang in a window or on an ornament tree...and these hearts would be great for scrapbooking, for embellishing a valentine card, for a gift tag, or for inserting in a valentine as a gift. I have listed quite an assortment of snowflakes and hearts in my Etsy shop....

Machine Embroidered Motif Hearts

Machine Embroidered Faux Tatted Hearts with Picots

Machine Embroidered Snowflakes
Although I have an overwhelming business to-do list right now, I do have some great sewing/quilting projects ready to go...I absolutely love fabric for Valentine's Day and just went into my fabric stash and pulled yardage of cute reds and pinks for a few fun ideas. Now I just have to make the time...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Snow Day...

Just as predicted, winter weather arrived in central Iowa yesterday evening...it started as a rain/sleet mix, then quickly turned to snow (and thunder snow). We received 12" to 14" of snow (on top of a layer of ice) and blizzard-like conditions with winds gusting up to 50 mph...yes, winter has definitely arrived! With the heavy snow, our power was knocked out last night...but we are blessed, as our electricity was restored early this morning. With most of the city shutdown this morning and travel not recommended, today was an official snow day. I made it outside to do a little snow removal and take Simba for a brief walk...he was quite irritated by the harsh weather and I had to force him to go further than the end of our driveway....but who could blame him - with the snow so high, he must feel like he is walking in a tunnel...and with the winds so extreme, he must feel like a little kite. I must say, even with the cold, wind, snow, and ice, it was still beautiful outside - looks like we will be having a white Christmas this year!

View from our deck....
Sunshine trying to peek through....
...and speaking of winter weather and snow...several days ago, I received a FABULOUS Christmas package from my dear friend Robin - I have only opened one of the enclosed gifts....and it was this WONDERFUL winter fabric, which reminds me of our current weather situation...it is Winter Wonderland by Ingrid Slyder for Moda...isn't it marvelous?! 


It was a very quiet day and I decided to do some cooking (a big pot of homemade chili), some baking (molasses cookies), and some sewing (more Etsy shop items and a couple last minute gifts). I finished up the last six Blueberry Crumb Cake Needlebook Scissor Cases...then decided to pull out some bright cheerful fabric (Fresh Flowers by Deb Strain for Moda) and work on some more Stitch Starter Ruler Pocket Sleeves....these will be listed in my Etsy shop soon.




I have just a few more things to finish up in my studio and at my desk...then I will be headed to my comfy stitching nest to work on some model stitching (I think a fire in the fireplace and a hot beverage will be a nice touch)...I have several large projects to get completed in the next few weeks...

I hope you are staying warm and cozy...and enjoying this winter holiday season....

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Winter White Ornaments

Holiday Cottage - approximately 4.5" x 4.5"
I managed to finish quite a few machine embroidered lace ornaments over the last couple weeks...if you have followed my blog for quite some time, then you know I make these each year to slip inside Christmas cards and tie on packages. This year I decided to make some to put in my Etsy shop...and not only did I make snowflakes, but I made some holiday cottages (gingerbread houses) and some ice skates. I actually got quite a few completed before my sewing embroidery machine decided to act up (it is still unhappy - waiting for parts - a new belt and housing mechanism - boohoo)...and I listed what I have in my Etsy shop last night. These ornaments are made on my embroidery machine...and are technically called "free-standing lace"...they are made entirely of thread! 

For those of you not familiar with an embroidery machine, here is a little idea of how these snowflakes are made - using digitized designs, the machine embroiders the ornaments on water-soluble stabilizer...once the design is completely stitched, you put it in water and the stabilizer dissolves, leaving you with a beautiful piece of lace made completely of embroidery thread. I like to put a piece of white ribbon through the hanger on each snowflake before placing it in a card or on a gift. Each large snowflake can take anywhere from 45 minutes to well over an hour to make, so I usually set up my machine and let them embroider while I am working on various other crafts in my studio...each cottage and ice skate take quite a bit longer, as they are larger and quite detailed.  In the photos you can see a selection of my embroidered snowflakes ...average size of the small snowflake is 1.75" W x 1.75" H...medium snowflakes are approximately 2.75" W x 2.75" H...and the large snowflakes are approximately 3.5" W x 3.5" H. The holiday cottage and the ice skate are a little bit bigger at approximately 4.5" W x 4.5" H. Many digitizers offer snowflake designs for machine embroidery, but if you are interested in these particular medium and large snowflake designs, they are designed by Criswell Embroidery & Design - the holiday cottage and the ice skate are digitized by Anita Goodesign....you can purchase digitized designs from both of these designers on a disk at your favorite quilt shop or by downloading them from their website.

Large snowflakes - approximately 3.5" x 3.5"

Ice Skate - approximately 4.5" x 4.5"

Small Snowflakes - approximately 1.75" x 1.75"

A selection of wrapped ornaments...

I have listed all of the ornaments I have completed...and with my machine waiting for parts I am not sure if I will be able to complete more before Christmas - if you have been waiting for these, please do not hesitate. They will be shipped on heavy cardstock and wrapped with GiftGloss to keep them nice, clean, and flat.

On a happy note: I have approved the printing proofs for the new designs and they will be delivered next week - so they should be available around the 1st of December...I will post more details in the next couple days. AND...I am very close to be able to share my big design surprise with you - just be patient a few more days...

It is a beautiful day and after wrapping up just a few more details at my desk, I am headed out for a long brisk walk - my training continues to go well - and a big thank you to those who have already supported my Komen 3-Day walk with a donation - I heart you all!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Pillow Talk

Earlier this week, I finished several pillows to send to my mother for her birthday...I had fun working on three pillows for her...and I am so glad I got them completed before my sewing machine needed to go in for repair.

SIDE NOTE: yep, my sewing/embroidery machine experienced a little hiccup yesterday and had to make a trip to the doctor today - she needed a little TLC...it turned out to be a simple belt issue and I was extremely relieved - I made it home and managed to sew for about 10 minutes before the exact same thing happened again...ugh. My dealer is about an hour and a half away, so I couldn't be more discouraged - the sewing machine tech will not be in until Monday morning, so Monday we have an appointment to head back and have the belt put back in place. Boohoo...my whole weekend without my fancy schmancy sewing machine...good thing I have a big cross stitching deadline to keep me busy!

Okay, enough about that whining - back to the pillows. The one in the top right photo with the tree button is a small pillow - maybe 3" x 3"...my mother has an adorable tiny rocking chair that belonged to my grandparents, so I thought it would be cute to send her a little patchwork pillow to display with it for the holidays. The two larger pillows (below) are 9.5" x 9.5" - the Redwork stitching is actually machine embroidery from an older Inspira Redwork Collection with the cutest designs (I just love them!). After the embroideries were completed, I cut them into 6.5" blocks and added 2" dark red print border strips....then backed them with a fun red and white print (hearts) and stuffed them firmly. I thought they finished up extra cute...and turns out, they matched my mother's living room perfectly. I figured she could use the one with the ice skating mouse during the winter...and the one with the rabbits gathering vegetables in the spring/summer....and if she wants, she can turn one around and show the red heart print for Valentine's Day.




I managed to get quite a few snowflakes and ornaments machine embroidered before the aforementioned "belt issue", so look for those this weekend - I just have to get them photographed and added to my Etsy shop...

My two new Blue Ribbon Designs ("Berries, Birds, and Blooms" and "Sunflower Serenade") that are being released in the very near future are at the printer and I will see a proof on Monday - once they are good to go, I will determine the exact release date information and post about the specifics - stay tuned...

It has been an incredibly busy (and somewhat frustrating) week...and I am now off to my stitching nest...I will be having a late night model stitching marathon!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

On The Agenda...

It is going to be another busy week here at the Blue Ribbon Designs studio! I have so many projects and activities in the works...but really, when are things ever calm here?? I have a list a mile long...so it is a good GREAT thing my dear friend in California send me an AMAZING journal to keep my thoughts and lists organized...isn't it adorable?! I just love the sentiments, ribbons, and pictures on the cover...and have already filled multiple pages with writing, trying to keep myself on track...

Here is a little bit about what is going on in my world...
I made a trip to the local quilt shop last Friday to pick-up more machine embroidery thread - I have been making all sorts of machine embroidered lace snowflake ornaments to list in my Etsy shop...they are not posted yet, but will be soon - I am finishing up a HUGE batch before listing them. I will post some photos and more details here when I am ready to put them in the shop...


Of course when I visited the quilt shop, a couple other things caught my eye...I just adore the line of fabric Odds and Ends by Julie Comstock of Cosmo Cricket for Moda (the large piece of fabric in the photo)! I have a fun plan for this fabric...and of course I needed a few zippers...and a pattern by one of my favorite designers (Terry Atkinson) called "Popovers" - cute little pouches that will be perfect for the holidays...


My days have been filled working on the printing files for two new design releases - "Sunflower Serenade" and "Berries, Birds, and Blooms". I have finished up the files and the designs are now in printing production. There will be more details posted soon and I will have a release date for you in the near future (patience please). I have also been working on a large new project...and I can't give you any information just yet...but know there is something VERY special in the works and you will be hearing all about it SOON! I also have the class design for the Elegant Stitch Workshop underway...Lois has a "teaser" up on her website, but there will be much more information on this project in the coming weeks, as well....just give me a little more time.

I really wish I had some time for sewing and quilting, but things have been a bit hectic - I do have some fun ideas for holiday sewing and I hope to share some with you in the coming weeks! I am actually going through a bit of sewing machine withdrawal - I am just itching to work on a new project or two....however, that will have to wait while I work on a custom order for twenty-five needlebooks (yes, I really need more hours in each day!)...

So, I am off to tackle more items on my list...and get in my exercise for the day - a power walk (more on that later this week)...plus Simba needs a little attention too...


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Let It Snow!

One of my favorite things to make each holiday season are these machine embroidered snowflakes. I start early in the season and make well over 100 of them - I tuck them inside of cards and tie them on packages. These are made on my embroidery machine...and are technically called "free-standing lace"...they are made entirely of thread! For those of you not familiar with an embroidery machine, here is a little idea of how these snowflakes are made - using digitized designs, the machine embroiders the snowflakes on water-soluble stabilizer...once the design is stitched, you put it in water and the stabilizer dissolves, leaving you with a beautiful piece of lace made completely of embroidery thread. I like to put a piece of white ribbon through the hanger on each snowflake before placing it in a card or on a gift. Each snowflake takes anywhere from 45 minutes to over an hour to make, so I usually set up my machine and let them embroider while I am working on various other crafts in my studio. In the photos you can see a selection of my embroidered snowflakes...average size for the smaller snowflakes is 2 1/2" - 2 3/4" and the larger snowflakes average 3 1/2" - 4" square. Many digitizers offer snowflakes for machine embroidery, but if you are interested in these particular snowflakes, they are designed by Criswell Embroidery & Design....you can purchase their digitized designs on CD at your favorite quilt shop or by downloading them from their website. Over the last week, I have made just over 50 and I would like to make a few more...I have a new design collection I would like to try with several different styles....and if I find time, I may just make a few to display in my own home...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Snowy Robin

Remember all the way back to yesterday when I was commenting about how signs of spring were everywhere? I was thinking I need to take some photos of the robins and tiny little sprouting plants popping up...and this morning the sun was shining and I thought what a lovely day to go outside and do some yard work...well, now it is 8 hours later and it is SNOWING! It started out misty, then sleet, now snow - how did my beautiful sunshine day completely turn around?! I had to go outside and catch a photo of this beautiful robin on my freshly snow-covered lawn. Yes, signs of spring are arriving...but winter has decided to keep it's presence a little longer....

I guess it will be a good evening to stay inside and do some much needed model stitching. My broken finger is finally starting to heal and I am able to hold a needle much easier. I'm looking forward a Saturday stitch-in with my girlfriends tomorrow - always a special treat! Maybe I will bring that poor Papillon Creations Mystery Sampler I have been working on since February 2006....

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year's Eve Day

Hello friends and followers! Thank you for hanging out while I took a little break from my blog posts. Like most, the holiday season has been a little hectic for me, as I struggled to balance family/friends, holiday plans, and my business obligations. I sure could use a "sewing day" to clear my head and regroup. I have been frantically working on two teaching designs for 2010...stitching so much, my fingers are bleeding. I have also been trying to get several new designs "in-the-works" for the Nashville Needlearts Market in February. Things here have been insane to say the least, and I am starting have a short fuse. I did have a lovely Christmas holiday, made so very special by my good friends and family....and it was definitely a white Christmas, as snow has continued to fall here on a daily basis.

Speaking of snowfall, I wanted to share this beautiful ornament with you! This snowflake arrived in my mailbox yesterday, all the way from England....and let me tell you, the photo does not do it justice. This lovely hand-beaded ornament came from Lindsay and it is gorgeous! Lindsay posted on an earlier blog entry (December 5th) that she would like to do a snowflake ornament exchange with me...so I sent her some machine embroidered snowflakes and she sent me this beautiful work of art - thank you Lindsay!

As 2009 comes to a close, I would like to thank all of you for supporting my blog journey and Blue Ribbon Designs. You continue to inspire me with your creativity, kindness, and generous spirits! 2009 has been a successful year for me (and my business) and that would not be possible without each and every one of you. As we prepare for 2010, take a moment to reflect on the past year and all the many blessings you have in your life...look at all the beautiful stitching and/or sewing projects you have accomplished. Wishing you a happy, healthy 2010 filled with joy, laughter, and creativity!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Snowflake Recipients

Thank you all so much for your entries in my snowflake holiday giveaway! The holiday memories and stories were all uplifting and fun to read...and I am so thankful I have the random generator to pick the winners, as I honestly could not do it on my own (there were so many wonderful posts!). I have had a difficult time getting in the holiday spirit this year and I appreciate you reminding me what the season is all about...

So, without further ado...the grand prize winner is:
Post #1
Catherine
Catherine, you will receive 6 of my large specially made snowflakes!










Now what fun would it be to only have one winner...your stories put me in a holiday mood, so I have chosen three more "runner-up" winners, each of who will receive one large snowflake! ...and these lucky recipients are:

Post#37 Mare










Post#22 Lisa










Post#4 Tommye










Congratulations to all! Recipients, you will receive an e-mail from me. Thank you again to all the participants - I enjoyed each and every one of your stories and memories. You know I love to give things away, so there will definitely be future giveaways...stay tuned...

Thank you for reading and following my blog!