Monday, January 25, 2010

Sneak Peek - "Sweet Songs of Spring" & A Personal Note

A very short post today.

Here is a sneak peek photo of "Sweet Songs of Spring"...there will be an accompanying set of needlework smalls and finishing instructions with this release. This new design is currently at the framer and is set to be released in February.

On a personal note:
Many of you know I tend to be a very private person - I like to keep my blog posts light and limited to creativity and inspiration. Lately my blog has been neglected, as I work on market designs...and I thank you all for your patience with my limited posts. Now, I have been faced with a new challenge. My grandmother is currently dying and she has become my top priority. I will be flying to Las Vegas to visit with her during her final days. During this time, emails may not be responded to in a timely manner, market releases may be delayed, the email newsletter will be delayed, and my communication may be minimal. Thank you for your understanding. Please know Blue Ribbon Designs means the world to me and I will do my best to keep things on schedule.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Schoolgirl Samplings - A Partial Sneak Peek!

Hello faithful friends and followers - thank you for your patience with my blog entries while I am busy working on the Nashville Needlework Market releases. Today I am giving you a peek at "Schoolgirl Samplings". This design is actually for a stitched needlework box and smalls...however, for those who aren't fond of the finishing work involved, I have designed a sampler you can stitch instead (or in addition to the box). The stitched box has a little bit of a twist and I am working on the construction now along with the needlework smalls....however, the framed sampler is completely stitched and here is a little sneak peek for you! The design will be released later in February at the Nashville market and will include charting and finishing instructions for the sampler, needlework box, and set of needlework smalls. Stay tuned for a photo of the box and accompanying smalls...I will do my best to keep the "Future" page on my website updated with the latest information...thank you for your patience....

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sewing/Stitching Companion

I am still SUPER busy working on new designs for teaching and the TNNA Nashville Needlework Market in February. I am a little behind on my market releases, so my posts may be minimal for the next few weeks....but don't give up on me, I love sharing my projects and inspirations with you!
Today I wanted to share with you a project I made for a holiday gift...a little sewing/stitching companion. It was done completely in the hoop on my sewing/embroidery machine and was digitized by Birdhouse Cottage Crafts. There is a pocket for your scissors...a wool page for your pins and needles...under the wool is page of quilt batting to collect your orts...and under those pages is a little hidden pocket - perfect for a needle threader, package of needles, or a skein of floss. The fabric (which is gorgeous in person!) is Somerset Cottage by Robyn Pandolph (RJR Fabrics)...and was chosen specifically to coordinate with the recently released Elizabeth I scissors (LOVE THESE!) by Kelmscott Designs. This was a very enjoyable project made easily in an afternoon.

Friday, January 8, 2010

New England Stitchers' Retreat Teaching Design

Here is another reason I have been slow to post lately...and I know you have been waiting to see is my teaching design for the New England Stitchers' Retreat(Enfield, NH - May 2010)! I have been working hard to get these class pieces stitched and finished.

The design is called "Beauty in Simplicity" and was inspired and influenced by the Shaker culture and lifestyle (as the retreat is being held at the historic Great Stone Dwelling House). The beauty of nature is the focus of this design, made to fit the oval lid of a hand-crafted Shaker box. Matching needlework smalls (scissor fob, pinkeep, and needlebook) complement the box, giving you a complete sewing set.

Class will cover the stitching of the box lid and needlework smalls, working the Basketweave Tent Stitch (grass), finishing techniques for each of the needlework smalls, mounting your piece on the shaker box lid, personalizing your smalls, and making twisted cord. Plan to complete your scissor fob in class!

I know many of you are curious if I will release my teaching designs to the general public...and the answer is yes; however, I wait a minimum of one year before putting them on the those of you who cannot attend will have to be extremely patient.

Photos and details will be posted soon on soon!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Brightening Up The Day

Well, here we are in the middle of more "blizzard-like" conditions (as is most of the Midwest)....the constant snow, ice, wind, and bitter cold are starting to wear on me....and my poor little dog Simba, who although loves the snow, is dreading any trips outside. Seems like every day I am on "snow removal"...and the snow blowing and shoveling is really starting to irritate me. Yes, the snow can be extremely beautiful and usually doesn't both me...but pair it up with the ice and below zero temperatures and I am not happy.
Trying to find a way to brighten up my spirits in this lousy weather, I went to my huge basket of handmade seasonal items...looking for some Valentine and springtime items to decorate the house with...something to bring a little warmth to my mood. Going through my basket, I found this art quilt I made last was a class piece...and my very first attempt at art quilting. The class was called "Believe Me" and was designed taught by a local art quilt celebrity, Barbara Riggs (to say her art quilts are AMAZING is an understatement). I really enjoyed this creative class...and it definitely made me want to do more art quilting and embellishing in the future. This is a small wall hanging (approximately 12 1/2" W x 15 1/2" H) and was made with silks and batiks...the tulip padding was quite fun to learn (giving the flowers a 3D effect) and I liked playing with the free-motion quilting and applique. Finding this piece in my stash did brighten my day! I have a couple more Valentine pieces to share with you in the future...for now, I must get back to my never-ending pile of model stitching....
Until next time, keep warm and cozy...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Stitcher's Hideaway Teaching Design

If you read my blog regularly, then you know I been a little lapse on my posts lately...I have been stitching up a storm, working on two new teaching pieces for 2010. Yesterday, I finished model stitching a Christmas Sampler for the Stitcher's Hideaway needlework retreat I will be teaching in Mystic, CT (October 2010). This retreat has a holiday theme, so I have designed a piece called "Pocketful of Peppermint" that can be stitched as a sampler...and the separate sections can be stitched as ornaments! This pieces has ten specialty stitches (in addition to basic stitches). The class will cover stitching the sampler, how to work each of the specialty stitches, three types of ornament finishing, adding beads when finishing an ornament, personalizing your ornaments, and making twisted cord. I am currently in the process of stitching the ornaments, but I thought you would like to take a little sneak peek at the sampler...before framing, of course. Tomorrow, I will be off to the framer with this design and a new piece for February titled "In My Heart". I will have more fun things to share with you soon...