Saturday, June 16, 2018

A Peek Inside My Design Process

Sometimes the most bizarre things inspire unique design ideas...and that was definitely the case when working on a recent AccuQuilt project. Today, I thought I would share a bit of my design process for the Studio Quilter's Basket Table Runner Pattern that was created for the new Studio Super Giant Strip Cutter. This new strip cutter die has four sizes of small strips all on one die:  ¾", 1", 1½", 2" (¼", ½", ¾", 1½" Finished)...and the challenge was to use all four of these strip sizes in a single project. I didn't want the project to be long, boring strips...I wanted something that stood out a bit more...something that hadn't been seen a million times....something that had some oomph! I immediately started playing with some design ideas in EQ8 (Electric Quilt 8 Quilt Design Software)....but I just couldn't compose a design that stood out to me. I decided to let the project rest for a moment - pause and hit the reset button. I resolved to take our German Shepherd puppy for a walk and clear my head...and along the way, I found my inspiration...

While walking several blocks away from our home, I spied a couple vintage-looking webbed lawn chairs (which I hadn't seen since my childhood)...retro folding lawn chairs with woven bright colored webbing strips for the back and seat. At that moment, it became clear - I would use those lawn chairs as a base design for my current project. I grabbed my iPhone, snapped a few photos, and headed back to my studio to get my idea drawn up in EQ8. To my surprise, it translated really well! I got a single block designed....then reversed two colors for a second block...at that moment, I knew I had it figured out...the Quilter's Basket Table Runner was born. Once I had the pattern written, I really wanted to name the design after those retro-looking webbed lawn chairs, but I thought it might get lost in translation...with the pattern having a "basketweave" look, Quilter's Basket seemed like a logical title...but you, my friends, now know the true story behind the design!

It was quite fun to create the sample...and I only used two cutting dies - the new Studio Super Giant Strip Cutter- ¾", 1", 1½", 2" (¼", ½", ¾", 1½" Finished) and the Studio Super Giant Strip Cutter-2½" (2" Finished) for binding. The blocks are easy to piece by creating strip sets and sub-cutting...

You can currently download the pattern for free by visiting:
https://www.accuquilt.com/studio-quilter-s-basket-table-runner-pattern.html






There you have it - design inspiration found in an unlikely object. I hope this post will encourage you to look for creative ideas in unusual places! Take a little time this weekend to see the beauty that surrounds you...

Friday, June 15, 2018

Pretty Project Bags

It has been a needlework finishing frenzy in the studio this week (which I will share soon!), but I thought I would stop by for a very quick visit today and share a plethora of project bags I completed the last couple weeks. This is an assortment of my large and small project bags...and all the fabrics were provided by clients. I have almost two hundred zippered bags on order right now - an assortment of large project bags, small project bags, and tool bags...yes, I am sewing up a storm to catch up! Recently, I have had several questions on the patterns I use and the sizes of the bags...so I thought I would clear up any confusion - these are made from my own pattern that I designed specifically for cross stitch patterns and supplies
(it is currently not available for sale):

  • Large Project Bags
    Size: Approximately 14.25" W x 10.25" H
    Designed for full size patterns measuring 8.5" x 11" and supplies
  • Small Project Bags
     Approximately 10.75" W x 7.75" H
    Designed for half sheet patterns measuring 5.5" x 8.5" and supplies
  • Tool Bags
    Approximately 9.25" W x 7.25" H
    Designed for small projects and or tools/accessories.

My custom bags are made to order (usually my customers supply fabrics of their choice)...and when time allows, I make them for my Etsy Shop (with fabrics I choose). The three sizes listed above are my basic/most requested bags, but (for a small additional fee) I can make them to any size requested. Should you like more information (pricing and fabric size details), please e-mail me (link in profile). 










For now, I am off to the gym...then back to the cutting table and sewing machine. Thanks for stopping by for a visit today...and be sure to stop back soon to see my latest creations...

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Petal Power Wall Hanging

A little over a month ago, I was busy working on today's feature project (along with an array of other patterns/designs to be shared soon). I designed and created this Studio Petal Power Wall Hanging pattern especially for AccuQuilt...and now that they have released the new Studio 2 dies and patterns on their website, I am finally able to share it with you.

AccuQuilt just released ten cutting dies for the Studio 2 Fabric Cutter - VERY exciting for us Studio fans, as it has been quite a while! This new Studio 2 collection includes some great shapes/blocks, including: Studio Crazy Quilt, Studio Fractured Tumbler, Studio Cleopatra’s Fan, Studio Super Giant Strip Cutter-¾”, 1″, 1 ½”, 2″, Studio Santa Stocking, Studio Orange Peels, Studio Burp Cloth, Studio Hexagon-3″ Sides, and Studio Baby Bib. Today, I am sharing the pattern and sample I created for the Studio Orange Peels. Designed to be appliqued onto standard 2½", 5" and 10" squares, these Orange Peel units have a cut size of  2", 4½" and 9½". My design uses all three sizes of Orange Peels included on the die, along with 10" Squares, and a 2½" Strip Cutter for binding. I found this die to be quite versatile with the three different sizes...and really had fun playing with design ideas in EQ8!

This wall hanging goes together rather quickly and finishes at 38" x 38"...and it is perfect for practicing your machine appliqué skills! Currently, you can download the pattern for Petal Power on the AccuQuilt website for FREE - simply click on the following link:
https://www.accuquilt.com/studio-petal-power-wall-hanging-pattern.html





I have been working on piles of needlework finishing this week...and I can't wait to share the beautiful stitching my clients have trusted me to finish...WOW - there are some fabulous pieces...and some have definitely challenged me (in a GREAT way!). I'm also knee deep in project bag sewing...the to-do list is LONG...and more AccuQuilt projects are ready to share with you soon, so please stop back later this week for a visit!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Two Stags and a Star

Summer heat and humidity have definitely arrived and I am not even remotely thinking about the winter holidays...but if you are an early bird stitcher (you know who you are - "one of those" ready for every holiday and always stitching in advance) 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 "Two Stags and a Star" (AKA "Two Stars and a Stag", as listed in the magazine) in the the August 2018 Issue, which is now available.

My 2018 preview ornament complements my woodland ornaments from the past several years and uses Cross Stitch (over-two), Back Stitch, Long Straight Stitches, 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 (DMC six-strand embroidery floss conversions are provided). 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!




Nine Christmas ornaments are featured in this special preview leading up to the annual Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament Issue out later this year...so, if you are not a subscriber, pick-up or download the latest issue (https://www.just-crossstitch.com/) - grab some Christmas colors from your stash and let's get started on those holiday ornaments!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Posy Patch Table Topper

I'm taking a brief moment to blog this afternoon - I simply need a break. Finding a balance this week is a challenge and (truth me told) I am feeling completely overwhelmed and a little down. Normally I would take a walk and clear my head, but it is close to 100 degrees outside and the air feels quite heavy - walking the dogs a little while ago wasn't even enjoyable. So, maybe a little writing therapy will do the trick and give me an attitude adjustment...as long as I don't look down at my desk, which is completely covered with piles of things needing attention...ugh...

Let's brighten up this post with my GO! Posy Patch Table Topper! Yesterday I mentioned some of the new AccuQuilt GO! cutting dies...and today, I'm here to show you four more that were released on May 24th - GO! Square 1 ½", GO! Music Medley, GO! Northwoods Medley and GO! Circles ½", ¾", 1″, 1 ¼". I designed the pattern that is included with the GO! Circles ½", ¾", 1″, 1 ¼" die and created the cheerful sample. This pattern uses all four sizes of small circles included on the new die board and was created with both cotton quilting fabric and wool to give it dimension (yes, you can cut wool with your GO! Fabric Cutter!)....and combines traditional piecing with machine appliqué. 




I thought it would be fun to show you the back of the sample...


Even more exciting, GO! Posy Patch is AccuQuilt's "Free Pattern of the Week"...simply visit:
https://www.accuquilt.com/go-posy-patch-table-topper.html/ to download this summery floral pattern...and while there, you can also take a look at a video showing you how to create it!


Hundreds (yes, I said hundreds) of project bags are calling my name, so I guess this short afternoon break is over...back to the sewing machine....

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Hop To It

Perhaps you have seen the assortment of new GO! cutting dies AccuQuilt has released over the last couple months...and today they released new Studio cutting dies! Many of you know that I design patterns and create samples for AccuQuilt...and I have had the pleasure of working on projects for quite a few of the new releases (for both the GO! and the Studio). I am usually working on these projects weeks in advance and have to wait to share the details with you...so, now it is time to play catch-up and start sharing some of the new cutting dies and the patterns/projects I created.

The first die release at the end of April was a trio of GO! Limited-Edition 10th Anniversary Dies. To celebrate the 10 years that AccuQuilt has been creating cutting tools, they brought back three of their most popular retired appliqué dies - these dies include GO! Leaping Frog, GO! Elephants, and GO! Airplanes. This collection is available for a limited time....and the die boards are a special bright blue. Each of these 10thAnniversary Limited-Edition Dies can be used with the GO! Big, GO! and GO! Baby fabric cutters....and each contains a free pattern. I designed the free pattern for the GO! Leaping Frog and created the sample for AccuQuilt. The GO! Hop to It Table Runner Pattern can currently be downloaded for free on the AccuQuilt Website, simply visit:
https://www.accuquilt.com/go-hop-to-it-table-runner-pattern.html





So make the "leap" over to the AccuQuilt website and check out these fun, new releases! I will be back in the coming days with additional AccuQuilt project posts...in fact, I have six more to share with you...along with several other designs I created for earlier releases.

Monday, June 4, 2018

A Creative Eye

It is a beautiful, sunny morning...and after getting both dogs walked, I sat down at my sewing machine to work on client orders of project bags. I am buzzing along on a HUGE order with a plethora of beautiful fabrics - and truth be told, seeing so many lovely prints makes me long for a trip to the local quilt shop to see what is new! My wonderful customers usually send me fabric for their orders and I am blessed to have a large stash, so I rarely get out to purchase fabulous new textiles.

Today's post features beautiful pieces (both needlework finishing and custom sewing) all from one special custmoer...yep, these finishes all shipped back to one talented stitcher. She sent an order for several projects bags, multiple pieces of needlework finishing...and had me work my magic on a very special piece of fabric from Sajou that she acquired when visiting Paris. I really enjoyed each of these projects! For the finishing, she gave me little direction and allowed me to choose fabrics for each of her stitched pieces (which makes me happy and gives me a chance to be creative!)...and she sent the fabric for each of the project bags. So here is the cross stitch and sewing inspiration for today...













I have more needlework finishing and special sewing projects to share with you in the near future...and I have been doing quite a bit of  fun "secret" designing, sewing and quilting for AccuQuilt that is now released...so stay tuned - I'll be back soon!