Thursday, April 8, 2021

FlossTube Episode Four: Needle and Thread Projects

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com
Happy Thursday friends! My latest FlossTube video has been posted.  This video shares a couple sneak peeks at upcoming cross stitch designs…a new quilt pattern and an upcoming project...a personal quilt project...client needlework finishing...Q & A...a SAL...and a giveaway opportunity.  Yep, it is packed full! I'm starting to get the hang of this FlossTube thing - still much learning to do, but getting better and feeling a tad more comfortable. Thank you to those who have subscribed to my channel and to those who have liked and commented on my videos - I appreciate the kind and welcoming words!

You can find my YouTube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/c/BelindaKarlsNace and I will post the latest video below:


I will be back soon to share quite a bit of needlework finishing (I've been busy in the studio)…and be sure to stop back on Friday, April 16th for my stop on the Poppie Cotton Kaisley Rose Fabric Tour - I will have some brand new quilty pieces to show you!!

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Stitch Starter Rulers

Stitch Starter Ruler ©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

Greeting friends - thanks for stopping by to visit with me today! Just a quick update today, to let everyone know that my popular Stitch Starter Rulers are back in stock in my Etsy Shop and on my website. They are packaged and ready for shipping. The cross stitch charts that come with charting/directions for making the sleeves (each includes one ruler) are available, as well.

Stitch Starter Ruler: 

  • It is 1/8" clear acrylic plastic, making it durable (these are slightly thicker than original version).
  • It has marking lines for both 1" and 2" seam allowances, so you only need one tool.
  • It is clear, making it easy to see your fabric placement.
  • It has 1/4" and 1/2" markings on three sides.
  • It has complete 3" ruler markings down the left side - these can be used for: finishing work measurements, measuring between stitched designs, counting threads to figure fabric count.


Instructions for using the Stitch Starter Ruler can be found here:
http://www.blueribbondesigns.com/PDF/USING%20THE%20STITCH%20STARTER.pdf

Stitch Starter Ruler ©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

Stitch Starter Ruler ©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

Stitch Starter Ruler ©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

Stitch Starter Ruler ©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

I have contacted everyone that was on my wait list via email and Etsy message - thank you for being so patient!

I will be making more quilted pocket sleeves that make up my "Stitch Starter Ruler and Ruler Pocket Sleeve Set" in my Etsy Shop, but it could be several weeks before they are ready for listing.

Currently, you can find single Stitch Starter Rulers and the companion cross stitch charts "Blessed Beyond Measure" and "Holiday Helpings" by visiting:

Website: https://blueribbondesigns.com/stitch-starter-ruler/ OR

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BlueRibbonDesigns?ref=seller-platform-mcnav&section_id=11683865

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The Quilted Sunflower: A Virtual Visit

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com
Greetings friends - I have a very special treat for you today...come take a walk with me through my local quilt shop - The Quilted Sunflower

As my regular readers know, moving to Kansas was not easy for this born and raised Iowa girl...and I definitely have struggled to find my way. One of the things I was most concerned about, was finding a welcoming local quilt shop (I was spoiled in Iowa!). A month before we made the move to Kansas, I found out there was actually a quilt shop in the small town where our new home would be located. I decided to reach out to the owner via a direct message on Instagram...her response was extremely heartwarming. Leslie wrote back to me almost immediately, welcoming me to Spring Hill...and this will tell you how wonderful she is...she gave me her cell phone number...yes, you heard me correctly, her cell phone number...and told me to reach out to her if I needed anything. That one message gave me so much comfort and peace of mind...and I just knew I had found a new quilting home. Once we were settled and I made my first trip to The Quilted Sunflower, I found the shop to be just as charming and delightful as I expected. 

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

There are so many things I adore about this small town shop located on Historic Main Street in Spring Hill, KS. First of all, the customer service is top notch...you feel important and welcomed the second you walk in the door...these ladies are truly THE BEST. Next - the inventory is incredible - the latest fabrics, notions and books/patterns...a little bit of everything...even embroidery floss! Every time I need something special for one of my projects or a certain fabric for a customer order, I have been able to find exactly what I need. However, what speaks to me the most, is the passion - in this past year of challenges, this small business rose to the occasion and found extra ways to take care of their customers - like scheduled shopping times, curbside delivery, mail order, and BOTM/BOTD with videos to help you with the project(s) at home...and my personal favorite, the Facebook Live events every week, showcasing new items, "deal of the day", "skinny bolts", "one and done" and "Quilter's Showcase." This is a small business that truly appreciates the customer and it is notably evident on a daily basis. Of course, The Quilted Sunflower has an incredible selection of sunflower fabrics and gift items...and more quilt panels than I have ever seen in one shop. They also support other small business in the area, by selling handmade greeting cards from a local artist and seasoning packets with recipes from another Main Street establishment. Plus, as you read in my last post - Leslie has not one, but TWO longarm quilting machines that are always humming along, finishing quilts for her customers (she did the adorable quilting on my Good for the Goose quilt!).

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

I hope if you are in the KC area...or simply traveling through, you will make a trip to Spring Hill and visit the ladies at The Quilted Sunflower. You can also order through the user-friendly website or give them a call...and if you are looking for a longarm quilter, she would be happy to assist you (in person or you can ship). Plus, don't miss the Facebook Live every Monday at 2:00 PM. This happy, small town quilt shop - filled with creative inspiration - is a big part of the reason I have "found my joy" in Kansas!

The Quilted Sunflower
111 S Main St
Spring Hill, KS  66083
913-592-0100
www.thequiltedsunflower.com
thequiltedsunflower@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/quiltedsunflower
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thequiltedsunflower
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thequiltedsunfl

I hope you have enjoyed this virtual visit to my local quilt shop and are inspired to create! Thank you for visiting with me...

Friday, March 12, 2021

Goose Creek Gardens Fabric Tour
"Good for the Goose" Lap Quilt

Good for the Goose ©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com
Happy Friday - welcome to the Poppie Cotton Goose Creek Gardens Fabric Tour! I am thrilled to be one of the stops on this inspiring "designer hop." Today, I am sharing a new lap quilt design that I created with this gorgeous fabric collection. When I first had a look at these prints (months ago), I instantly knew I would be creating a new quilt...and this is one I am actually keeping for myself. It was quite enjoyable to put on my quilt designing hat again and work with Goose Creek Gardens by Michal Marko. This new collection has a such a calming color pallet and (as always) exquisite, tiny details. I truly "found my joy" while working on this project! Let's take a look at what I am calling "Good for the Goose"... 

My quilt design was created using EQ8 Software...I spent an afternoon playing around in the software with the fabric swatches...and this was the result. I used a traditional quilt block and enlarged it to a hefty 20" square (the pattern uses only squares and half square triangles) and added borders to my quilt top. I titled my quilt "Good for the Goose"...which seemed to fit perfectly. I tried to fussy cut the Goose Creek print to show off those geese...and I worked hard to piece them all in the same direction. The result is a nice sized lap quilt measuring 66" x  66" square...perfect for snuggling under on a cool day or taking on a picnic in the summertime sunshine! I have always quilted my own quilts on my domestic machine...but this one, I actually took to my local quilt shop (The Quilted Sunflower) and Leslie did a fantastic job quilting it on the longarm for me - I am beyond pleased. We actually found an all-over quilt pattern that is geese and hearts swirled together...and it is super cute...I couldn't be happier. I created a scrappy binding featuring as many of the dark red prints as possible...I wanted it to bring out the center of my quilt. The entire project just makes me happy!

Good for the Goose ©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

Good for the Goose ©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com
Close up of the wonderful quilting...

Good for the Goose ©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

Good for the Goose ©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

I have finished up the quilt pattern and it is available in my Etsy Shop, should you want to make a lap quilt of your very own. The pattern features the Goose Creek Gardens Collection, but is written in a way that you could use your favorite fat quarter stack. Goose Creek Gardens is available now, so be sure to check your favorite local shop or online shop to find these fabulous prints. I used a Goose Creek Gardens fat quarter stack along with yardage from the Poppie Cotton Country Confetti Collection for my background, borders and backing.

Good for the Goose ©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com
Pattern available here:
 https://www.etsy.com/listing/965365800/good-for-the-goose-lap-quilt-pattern

I hope you have enjoyed this stop on the fabric tour - thank you for visiting. Could you hear the joy in my post?! I am already working on projects for the next Poppie Cotton Fabric Tour in April...they are for the upcoming Kaisley Rose Collection...and I can't wait to share them with you...

For more features on the Poppie Cotton Goose Creek Gardens Fabric Tour, visit the Poppie Cotton Blog: https://poppiecotton.com/poppie-cotton-blog/, where each tour project is showcased (and there are some amazing pieces!).

Good for the Goose ©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

Good for the Goose ©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

If you make a project from the Goose Creek Gardens Collection featured in this post, I would love to hear from you...happy sewing and quilting!

Stop back soon...I will be posting a look inside my local quilt shop in the next few days...you won't want to miss all the eye candy and inspiration...and see the marvelous shop behind the quilting on "Good for the Goose"...

Monday, March 8, 2021

"Under My Wing" Pinkeep Video Tutorial

Hello stitching friends! I have finished editing my FlossTube finishing tutorial for my "Under My Wing" sewing bird pinkeep. You can find it by visiting my YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/BelindaKarlsNace) and I'm posting it below for convenience:



Helpful links, mentioned in the video:


Blue Ribbon Designs Website: https://blueribbondesigns.com/​
Blue Ribbon Designs Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brdgirl/

Amazon Store - here you will see the items I use in my studio, including the finishing materials I talked about (comic book board, Nymo beading thread, foam core board, double-sided Scotch tape, transparent sewing thread, Tim Holtz scissors): https://www.amazon.com/shop/brdgirl?listId=21CEJ3D770R13

Lady Dot Creates (fabulous finishing supplies): https://www.etsy.com/shop/ladydotcreates

I hope this finishing tutorial will inspire you to stitch an "Under My Wing" pinkeep for yourself or a stitching friend! I found so much joy working on this design and I hope it will bring you joy, as well!

Sunday, March 7, 2021

FlossTube Episode Two: New Cross Stitch Design Releases

Well, I did it...I finally have my second FlossTube posted. I'm still learning (OBVIOUSLY): laughing at myself for repeating “super excited” at least a gazillion times – shaking my head at the unflattering camera angle (so many chins!) –  working on not saying “so” and “um” – and proud I kept filming when the hot flash started...just a little bit of behind the scenes complete honesty. 😀 I was giggling so hard at myself when I was editing it - just shaking my head....what have I gotten myself into?! This video is a showcase of my new cross stitch designs…and a peek at a new quilting design. A special thanks to those who encouraged me to take this journey and put myself out there (you know who you are)…and to everyone who shared, subscribed, liked and commented on my first video…I heart you.

You can find my YouTube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/c/BelindaKarlsNace and I will post the latest video below:

Thank you for the warm welcome into the FlossTube community! Plus...I can't tell you how much I appreciate all the kind words regarding my new cross stitch designs - you all sure know how to lift a girl's spirits. I am feeling happy and blessed. 

The finishing tutorial video for "Under My Wing" will be posted in the next couple days...stay tuned...

Also - I sent out a BRD Newsletter a couple days ago...if you missed it, you can read and/or subscribe here:
https://mailchi.mp/617e3aab836c/blue-ribbon-designs-newsletter-march-2021

Friday, March 5, 2021

In My Happy Place - New Cross Stitch Designs

March 2021 New Releases ©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com
Hello friends! I have so much to share today, I am not really sure where to start...but I guess the best place to start is with a big THANK YOU! I am overwhelmed by the positive response to my first FlossTube video - honestly, you have all made me a bit emotional. I truly appreciate all the kind words, lovely comments, likes and subscribes. I am actually ready to film Episode Two…and I have already filmed a full finishing tutorial for my new Under My Wing pinkeep design, which will be posted in the next few days. Thank you all for making me feel extremely welcome and a little less self-conscious and insecure. 

My new cross stitch designs have been listed in my Etsy Shop...and I feel extremely blessed by the enthusiastic response. I hope you can feel the love and joy I put into each piece. It feels good sharing new cross stitch designs, even if they are in a different format. I feel like I wasted so much time trying to fit into the "industry mold" of how things are supposed to be done...and now that I am doing what works best for me and my small business, my creativity is flowing. As I mentioned in previous posts, 2021 is the year for "finding my worth" and putting out new designs on my own terms is a HUGE step for me! I am learning daily...and I now realize that there is no mold that my business has to fit into - I need to make my own mold. Today is a good day - I have put more of my artwork out into the world - I have found my joy - I am crossing my fingers it will be successful and I can continue to pursue my passion...

Without further ado, here are the new designs. Each one is available in my Etsy Shop in digital download format. Each design includes charting in both color AND black and white - that way, if you are printing, you can save ink and print the black and white version OR if you are stitching from a device, you can use the color chart...the best of both worlds. Each design also includes full finishing instructions.

First up is "Pasture Parade"...this is my cow design for The Moo The Merrier designer collaboration. That's right - a bunch of your favorite designers have new designs, each featuring cows! This collaboration was right up my alley, as I have cows in my own backyard...they come right up to my fence line (see my design inspiration below). I always call it a "cow parade" when they are grazing along our fence...they line up and stroll by, just like a parade.😊 The parameters for this design were pretty loose - we all used the same Sulky 12 Wt. Cotton Petites thread pack of twelve colors - (most of the designs) are 60 x 60 - and they all feature a cow(s) in some way. My design is stitched on 32-count Sand Dune by Lakeside Linens with the following seven Sulky 12 Wt. Cotton colors (DMC equivalents provided): 1001 Bright White (B5200), 1005 Black (310), 1147 Christmas Red (817), 1174 Dark Pine (319), 1292 Heron Blue (3840), 4002 Buttercream (725), 4011 Milk Chocolate (3862). I decided to finish my design for an easel, opting for a flat finish...I backed it with Hand-Dyed Onsaburg Fabric (Pilot Light) by Lady Dot Creates and added two-tone twisted cord and gingham ribbon. Just wait until you see the variety of cow designs from your favorite designers - there are dozens of them, each special in their own way! Visit Instagram and search #themoothemerrier to see photos of quite a few...many designers are releasing them this weekend at the Needlework Expo trade show, so more photos are popping up daily...

Pasture Parade ©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

Pasture Parade ©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com
 
Pasture Parade Inspiration ©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

My second new release is titled "Under My Wing" (if you look closely, you will see a tapestry needle tucked under the bird's wing). It is a sweet little sewing bird pinkeep that I designed especially with gift giving in mind...in fact, I designed the original a couple years ago with the sole intention of only making one for each of my dear friends Mary and Kimber as birthday gifts. I had quite a few people ask me about a pattern, so I decided to stitch a couple more as models and release it as a pattern. The models are stitched with Sulky 12 Wt. Cotton Petites on 32-count Chantilly Creme by Lakeside Linens. The chart includes both colorways you see pictured on the pattern cover and a full alphabet for personalizing/monogramming. The base of the pinkeep is a vintage zinc Ball Jar lid (which if you don't have one in an attic or basement, you can find on Ebay, Etsy or even Amazon...or at an antique shop or thrift store). The tops are trimmed with Hand-Dyed Chenille by Lady Dot Creates...and the perimeter of the base is trimmed with Vintage Ruler Half Inch by Lady Dot, as well...and I tucked a tapestry needle under the bird's wing as the final finishing touch. These are super easy to make substitutions - change up the color of thread on the spool and use a matching chenille and your best friend's initial(s) for a lovely handmade gift! Add some special decorative pins to complete the look. A full finishing tutorial video will be posted on my YouTube channel in the next week.

Under My Wing ©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

Under My Wing ©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

Under My Wing ©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

Last, but definitely not least, is "My Favorite Things Sampler" - a bright and cheerful signature style Blue Ribbon Design! You can stitch the entire sampler, or select some of your favorite motifs for smaller projects. This design is stitched on 35-count Baby's Breath by Weeks Dye Works with Weeks Dye Works Hand Over-Dyed 6-Strand Floss (DMC equivalents are included). I decided to finish this piece as a quilted wall hanging - I used Hand-Dyed Onsaburg Fabric by Lady Dot Creates in Cheese Balls and Crab Grass for the borders and cotton quilt fabric for the binding and backing...and yes, finishing instructions are included. I have been working on this design since we moved to Kansas...and as a nature lover, it does showcase some of my favorite things...there are also some stitching and sewing motifs! The small squares are the perfect size for scissor fobs...and the middle section would be perfect for a small framed design...you could even make a lovely selection of ornaments. The full design would look great in a tray, on a box top or in a frame. My signature samplers are created in sections that look good together or on their own - with each option having extensive stitching and finishing possibilities...and this design definitely hits those marks!

My Favorite Thing Sampler ©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

My Favorite Things Sampler ©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

I truly hope one or all of these new designs will speak to you...and you will find joy in stitching one for yourself or a friend!

I am already working on more new cross stitch releases - seriously, I have piles (yes, piles!) in the works...so if these are well-received, I will continue to bring you pieces that make my heart happy.

A couple other notes:
I will be slowly be converting my older cross stitch designs to digital download format and listing them as I go - two have already been listed in my Etsy Shop by popular demand "Valentine Wishes" and "Letters, Leprechauns and Luck". If you have a favorite you would like to see available in PDF format, send me a message or drop me a comment.

Also - more Stitch Starter Rulers are on the way! Hooray!! I finally found a wonderful laser cutting and printing company and they are working on my restocking order...the design proof has been finalized and they estimate to ship to me on March 9th. I will list them and post on social media as soon as they arrive. I know many of you have been patiently waiting and I appreciate you!

Finally - I will be updating my website with the new designs today - I am still working on listing the digital designs for sale on my website (there is a learning curve), so for now, visit my Etsy Shop to purchase the new designs...

Thank you so much for visiting with me today and sharing in my happiness...I hope you are inspired by this post to work on something that brings you joy!

Friday, February 5, 2021

Out of My Comfort Zone

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com
Well, I finally did it - I jumped into the deep end and did something I have shied away from for many years...yep, I finally posted a FlossTube video...actually, it may be too soon to call it a FlossTube video...for now, we'll just call it a video. I figured with new designs coming out soon, it was time to stop over-thinking it and go for it...and of course, it is another step forward in finding my worth. Yes, it needs improvement... and yes, I almost deleted it before anyone could see it...and yes, it is completely out of my comfort zone...like as far out of my comfort zone as you can get. For better or worse, it's now out in the universe (or should I say YouTubeland), so there is really no going back now. We'll see where it goes from here - if you like it and would like to see more, I will start filming additional video clips...if I get a negative response and I scare everyone, I'll find a place to bury it and it will be the one and only...I'll see what it looks like in a day or two...

Episode One is called "Figuring Things Out & A Sneak Peak (Next Time - Better Lighting)." It was filmed in a small corner of my sewing room (studio) and I give you a brief introduction to me and Blue Ribbon Designs. It has a sneak peek of a new cross stitch sampler coming out soon and I talk a little bit about two other designs I will be releasing with it. I also do a show and tell with my latest quilt pattern designs. 

Mostly, I was proud that I figured out how to write and post the closed captioning with the video - this was important to me and I am so glad I got it to work. It's the little things...

You can find Episode One on my YouTube Channel or you can view it here: 



Let me know if you want to see more - if I have some subscribers and the views/likes/comments are positive, I'll make time to create additional content...

For now, I am back to my happy place - I have to finish piecing a new quilt design and get the finishing touches done on my new cross stitch patterns...as always, my list is long. Thanks for stopping by for a visit today...wishing you a happy and productive weekend...

Monday, February 1, 2021

An Epiphany...Plus a Project Potpourri

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com
Greetings friends - it has been a creative few weeks in my studio and I am back with a "smile on my face" post...get ready for another honest, heartfelt  "worth a read" update... 

I am have been humming along in my "happy place" for a couple weeks...feeling hopeful, encouraged and upbeat...in fact, my heart has been singing. I think that comes from taking the time to work on my own designs - both quilting and cross stitching and taking some steps back from the piles of needlework finishing. It is no secret that I have always found most of my joy designing, creating and sharing my artistic ideas. Working on my latest quilt designs really brought me back the heart of Blue Ribbon Designs and what is most important and fulfilling for me moving forward. For quite a few years, I have been concerned with making sure others are happy - as we all know, I tend to be a "pleaser"...we've talked about it here before. Let's be honest - for the last several years, it hasn't been financially possible for me to have tons of charts printed...and because of that, I put my design career off to the side and worked on "paying jobs," like needlework finishing and project bags to pay the bills...I was worried about what shops or distributors would think if I adjusted my business plan or what stitchers would think if I had charts for digital download or if I would be helping the copyright criminals if I had charts and patterns listed for digital sale...I have even been concerned what other designers would think...yes, this has all been weighing on me for quite some time. I was so worried about upsetting someone by not following the old, set-in-stone industry way, that I lost track of what was most important to me and what brings me joy. Recently, when I started listing my quilt patterns for sale as digital downloads in my Etsy Shop and a lightning bolt didn't strike me down, I really started thinking about what I want my creative focus to be moving forward. For some reason, designing and listing those patterns lifted this HUGE weight off my shoulders that I have been carrying around for pretty much as long as I can remember...and it has been a HEAVY stifling weight. Have I sold a bunch of those new quilt patterns?...no, not really...but it has been so incredible for my soul...and a BIG step forward in "finding my worth," as discussed here a couple months ago. Just getting my ideas down on paper, models made, patterns written and the final products listed gave me wings! I have three new cross stitch designs that I am finalizing that will be available in my Etsy Shop soon - a small one, a medium sized one, and a larger one. Plus, believe it or not, I have almost thirty designs that have just been sitting around waiting for me to decide what to do with them (some of them for YEARS). See, I have what seems to be an endless supply of design ideas and sketches on paper, but not an endless bank account to mass produce them. So to keep my heart happy and light, over time, I will be listing them for digital download in my Etsy Shop (and soon on my website, once I have time to do some code writing). Don't worry, if I have a request(s) for a printed chart/pattern, I will print/ship on demand for you - I know some only like a printed pattern and I will do my best to accommodate you. I will not be making kits, so stitchers will still have to visit their favorite needlework shop for supplies. Will that be my path indefinitely, I'm not sure...but for now, it will allow me to fulfill my passion and keep new designs available. I honestly can't even begin to tell you how much sleep I have lost over this decision, but as I say type it out loud, I know it is what is best for my work, right now. I will still be taking on  needlework finishing, project bags and custom orders, but it will be in moderation and I will be a little more selective. I know there will be some that have a lot to say regarding all this...and please feel free to leave your constructive comments below. More details and news on upcoming designs will be forthcoming. I hope you will be excited to see new Blue Ribbon Designs and will continue to follow me on my creative journey....

Finally, I couldn't write this post without some artful finishes to show you...I have definitely been keeping super busy behind the scenes. These are some client finishes and custom orders...along with a few gifts I made over the holiday season...and a fun finish I completed for a favorite designer a few months ago, but waited to share...oh and there is a unique storage, organizing tip included too!! 

First up - an assortment of WTNT panel bags that were finished for clients...to clarify, I did not design the fabric panel, nor do I sell them...this is just my finishing work (assorted project bags made from printed fabric panels by Brenda Gervais/With Thy Needle & Thread - search/see the designer website for more information)…

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

Here is the organizing tip I mentioned...see those clear boxes with trims in them in the photo above? Well, I got a gazillion questions about this when I posted a picture similar to this on my Instagram story...so I thought I would share here. I have my trims/ribbons/cords/rick rack all separated by color in clear boxes on my studio counter, so I can easily choose what I need for each project (a HUGE shoutout to Lois at Lady Dot Creates for helping me fill them! Visit her Etsy Shop for the best, best, BEST finishing supplies!). Anyway - everyone wants to know about these boxes...well, they are actually repurposed Beanie Baby acrylic display boxes from many years ago. I have 24 of them on my counter, stacked three high...some have wooden spools, some hold rolls of ribbon, you get the idea. Purchased separately many years ago...but can now be found on Amazon in bulk with 25 to a box for a much better deal. Also, if you look closely at the photo at the very top of this page, you will see I have all my stabilizers organized on the back of my studio closet door...and I get asked about that all the time too - they are actually in an over-the-door handbag organizer. I hope these two tips may be useful in your organizing journey. You can visit my Amazon Influencer Shop for more of my storage idea items... https://www.amazon.com/shop/brdgirl

Next up - here is a piece I was lucky enough to finish for Paulette at Plum Street Samplers - this is Called "Good Company" and was an exclusive for Acorns and Threads. Visit  http://www.acornsandthreads.com/exclusives for more details. Again this is a Plum Street Samplers design...not my stitching, just my finishing...

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

Catching up with a few gifts I made recently...here is my first large project bag with a carry handle and clear laminate...shown close up for detail and highlighting the chicken scissor charm - fabric and charm are by Poppie Cotton. I also made an artists pouch for a friend with a cross stitch print fabric and used another adorable Poppie Cotton charm for a cute addition...

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com


©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

Finally, here is an assortment of needlework finishes (not my stitching or designs, just my finshing), a couple custom small scissor/needle cases (my own design, which I will be releasing as a pattern in the future), a few fun custom project bags and a special custom pillow.

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

©Copyright 2021 Belinda Karls-Nace/Blue Ribbon Designs, LLC http://www.blueribbondesigns.blogspot.com

I hope today's post was good reading and gave you a little insight...I also hope it inspired you and sparked your creativity! Thank you so much for reading and visiting with me today. I appreciate your comments and while I don't always respond, I read each and every one - your constructive criticism is taken to heart and  your encouragement means the world to me...💗