Saturday, April 28, 2012

Beautiful In Blue

Last week I received a request for one of my larger pincushion tuffets in shades of why make one when I can make fifteen? The special request is on the way to its new home...and there are fourteen more wrapped and ready and listed in my shop. They are all made from the fabric collection Blueberry Crumb Cake by Blackbird Designs for Moda...and each one is unique. They all have wool felt for the bottom of the pincushion and a little wool heart attached with a tiny safety pin (easily removable, if desired)....and they each come with two decorative stick pins. Don't they look pretty all wrapped up and ready to travel?? This past week, I drew up patterns for a couple new pieces I will be working on soon...and I have another project for the shop in progress, so I will post more about these in the coming days/weeks....

I'm cutting this post a little short today - tonight is actually date night for me - my husband surprised me with tickets to the Broadway Show "Memphis" which is currently at the Des Moines Civic Center...he is also taking me to dinner, so I have to get cleaned up and ready to go... 

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend and finding a little creative time to work on your own special projects...

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Thank-You Note

Today's blog post is a BIG GIGANTIC thank-you note to all my family, friends, and followers who recently voted for my two "Top 100" quilt block designs in the AccuQuilt Annual Barn Quilt Design Contest. Your votes helped get my design(s) to the final round of judging....and I can now share with you...drum roll red, white, and blue quilt block design won the GRAND PRIZE!! Yep - did you just hear me squeal like a little girl?? I am so very excited to be the big winner...and I can't wait until June when I get to travel to the new AccuQuilt Headquarters in Omaha, NE for the Barn Quilt Unveiling Event where I will get to meet special guest Alex Anderson. It is going be so much fun to see my block enlarged to 17' x 17' and displayed prominently on AccuQuilt Headquarters...seriously, how cool is that?! I also get to take a mini vacation, as part of my prize is  attendance at the 2nd Annual Let’s GO! Quilt Retreat in Fremont, NE...oh, and did I mention I get a $1,000 AccuQuilt shopping spree...can you tell I am just a wee bit excited? I have been giddy since I received the news...I just had to thank all my supporters for the votes...this is a HUGE deal (at least to me)! I will be sure to take my camera on my trip in June and take lots of photos to share with you...thank you all for being a part of my BIG WIN...I heart you...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Sweetest Surprise

Today the most adorable little needlebook arrived in my mailbox...and inside I found five of the most gorgeous counting pins....what a FABULOUS surprise!! These were made by my dear friend Nataly - she is such a sweetheart - I happened to see some of her counting pins on her blog and mentioned to her in an e-mail how beautiful they were...and what does she do - she surprises me with my very own set! I love how she made the little needlebook with a floral embellishment to hold them...and the colors are absolutely perfect for me...I will definitely be putting these to good use. I just had to share this fun little treat with you, as it completely brightened my day! If you don't follow her already, stop by Nataly's blog to see more of her special treasures and her wonderful will definitely enjoy your visit...

Monday, April 23, 2012

More Madeira Needlework Treasures

Over the weekend I made time to finish twelve more pincushion tuffets...this time I made them varying sizes...I kept them all approximately 3.5" wide, but made several different lengths. Still working with my stash from the collection Madeira by Blackbird Designs for Moda for the pincushion tops and my stash of wool felts for the pincushion bottoms, I pieced all of them in an afternoon and stuffed/whipped stitched them closed in an evening.

Still "feeling" this fabric and having plenty on hand, I wanted to play with it a little bit more - so, I decided to make a needlebook with a couple pockets for scissors and tools. I didn't have a pattern, but I knew exactly what I I just started collecting supplies and cutting fabrics. Long story short, one needlebook scissor case turned into twelve....and I took great notes, so I could make more in the future. There are two different sizes (one is just a wee bit smaller)...both are embellished with fun trims and special buttons....and they all use sampler print fabric for the two lined pockets inside. I used various wool felts/fabrics for the needlebook pages and the closure is a colored elastic loop that hooks around a button. Each one is a bit different and special...and I really enjoyed the creative process that produced each one.

I would like to thank many of you for your support and encouragement in opening my new Etsy shop - you have been so very kind. I managed to get all twenty-four of these pieces listed in my shop slowly, but surely, I am "filling my shelves"...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sewing From My Stash

Over the last week, I have been scheduling some sewing time into each day...and that means revisiting my fabric stash. I've realized (probably no shock to you) that I am a bit of a fabric "junkie"...and it feels good to start utilizing fabrics that I have been collecting  hoarding for the last few years. I'm not sure why it is so hard to cut into some of my favorite fabrics...after all, I did buy the yardage for projects...I guess some of them are just too pretty for the rotary cutter. Well, all that must change...I am on a mission, determined to clean up my sewing, I will slowly but surely start using my fabric collection for it's intended use...

Today, we revisit Madeira by Blackbird Designs for Moda...this is such a wonderful collection - not only the sought after "sampler print" fabrics...but the floral, paisley, and checkered prints too! I have accumulated quite a bit of this particular collection, so I decided to start using it. I put together two more sets of patchwork snack mats (mug rugs) and seven little sewing pouches....and there is still more in the drawer. The snack mats feature patchwork tops from an assortment of Madeira prints and the backs feature a single Madeira print
 - I like to make them reversible, so I can use either side....and the rick rack trim just adds the perfect little touch. The sewing pouches are fully lined, have two interior pockets, a sewn in Velcro closure, and no raw seams...and I decided to appliqué a hand-dyed wool fabric heart on each as an embellishment. At approximately 4" W x 5.5" H, one is the perfect size for carrying your needlework tools in your project bag...or to hold a small sewing kit...or to easily hold a smart phone and your cash/credit cards...even a passport or iPod fits easily inside. These smalls pouches/cases make me happy! So, now that I have started to cut in to my Madeira fabrics, of course I have some that means a few pincushions from this line will be my next project...stay tuned...and yes, many (if not all) of the pieces shown here will be listed in my shop in the near future...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sunshiny Sewing

I have been trying to make a little time to sew each day - I am always happier and more relaxed when I can find a few minutes at my sewing machine. I have been in the mood to work with some bright, cheerful I made a half dozen more tuffet pincushions and a couple sets of snack mats (mug rugs). These are all made from the fabric collection Recipe for Friendship by Mary Engelbreit for Moda - isn't it adorable?! The snack mats are trimmed with rick rack and measure approximately 7.5" x 7.5"...the pincushions measure approximately 3.5" x 5" x 1.75" and are adorned with (pinned on) wool felt flowers. I really enjoyed working with this fabric line and making these fun treasures...and yes, these will be in my Etsy shop, for those of you who are interested - I will be listing them tomorrow. I had hoped to get quite a few items in the shop today (I did manage to get all the photos taken) but time got away from me - it WILL happen tomorrow. For now, I am off to cook dinner and then model stitching for the rest of the evening...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pretty Little Pincushions

I have to start today's blog post by thanking everyone who has taken a moment to vote for my two finalist quilt blocks in the AccuQuilt Barn Quilt Contest - I really REALLY appreciate your votes! I can't wait to see if my block(s) make the Top 20 - I'm still crossing my fingers. If you haven't had a chance to vote - there is still time - voting is open through Wednesday, April 18th.

To vote:
Please visit:
My finalist blocks are #21 and #24
Click on the boxes UNDER my blocks.
Thank you so very much (you make me happy!)..and you will be the first to know if my blocks advance to the final round!

On to today's creative post. I have been spending my afternoon's in my sewing studio - after finishing the piece for the New England Stitcher's Retreat, I found I needed a little break and have found much joy and contentment working on a few sewing/quilting projects....don't get me wrong, I have still been model stitching in the evenings, just taking a couple hours a day to unwind. I have been making a bunch of my tuffet pincushions - each is approximately 3.5" x 5" x 1.75" and adorned with a (pinned on) little wool heart. The pincushions in the photographs use the fabric collection Beach House by Blackbird Designs for Moda for the tops and coordinating wool felt for the bottoms. I have had a lot of fun putting these together and actually have a large pile (using different fabrics) to stuff and whip stitch closed - I just happened to run out of "stuffing".

So on to some BIG news: I am opening an Etsy shop where I will start listing all the pretty little things I like to make that don't have a "home". I have the storefront built and you are welcome to visit and mark it as a favorite - the "shelves" are still empty, but I will start listing items this week - including the pincushions you are seeing in this post. In addition to my pincushions, over time, I will be adding a lot of the things you have seen me post about: snack mats/mug rugs, napkin holders, ort holders, zipper pouches, project bags, drawstring bags, journal covers...pretty much whatever I feel moved to create. When I post about my sewing/quilting projects, I will be sure to let you know if I am adding those items to my Etsy shop...I will also be adding a few creative crafting supplies - such as: special die cut wool/fabric shapes, pretty pins, and supplies that relate to the projects I share with you. You can find me at: look forward to your visit!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Crossing My Fingers (and Toes)...

Today is a happy day - I just found out I made the "Top 100 Finalists" in the AccuQuilt Barn Quilt Design Contest!, friends and followers....I could really use your help... 

If you read my blog regularly, then you know how much I ADORE my AccuQuilt Fabric fact, I use at least one of them almost every single day. Well, when AccuQuilt announced their yearly Barn Quilt Contest, I just had to enter - in fact, I wanted to win so badly, I designed and entered ten (yes, I said ten) different quilt blocks. Well, imagine my shock when I checked out the Top 100 Finalists and two of my designs had been selected - I was over-the moon with excitement!! I'm sure they had at least a gazillion entries, so to know that two of mine made the first cut makes me giddy...

So, here is where I need your help - I need you to vote for my two blocks, so they make the Top 20, where celebrity judges Alex AndersonRicky Tims, Eleanor Burns, and AccuQuilt management will choose the Grand Prize winner. Please, please, pretty please take a moment and vote for my quilt blocks...I would REALLY appreciate it!...and if you ask your friends and family to vote for me too, that would be AMAZING....please help me spread the word...

Here is how to vote:
My finalist blocks are #21 and #24
Click on the boxes UNDER my blocks.

To learn a little bit more about the barn quilt movement visit:

Thanks for taking a moment to do this for me...wouldn't it be cool to see my quilt block design hanging at AccuQuilt Headquarters?! Just think, if I win more AccuQuilt products, I can make more things to share/giveaway... 

Monday, April 9, 2012

"Mischief at Midnight"

I know my posts have been a bit sporadic lately - truth be told, I have been working pretty much non-stop on a large design project for the last three weeks. This is a class design for the New England Stitcher's Retreat titled "Mischief at Midnight" - this year I am teaching a Halloween themed project, as the class is in mid-October. This is my third year teaching at the fabulous Enfield Shaker Museum in Enfield, NH, and I couldn't be more excited! The stitching retreats are held at the Great Stone Dwelling House, which is also home to the Enfield Shaker Museum...what a treat to stay in this historic building built in 1841, free of televisions, radios, phones, etc. - some might miss those modern day amenities, but I'll take the charm of this historic setting any day...and who misses modern technology when you have the company of talented needleworkers, fabulous views, delicious food, and a full schedule of great events. The attendees basically have the entire building to themselves for the duration of the event - making it the perfect venue for late night stitching and giggling (in your pajamas, no less)! I know there are already quite a few of you registered for this fun class and I can't wait to see many familiar faces...and meet new friends....I know you have all been waiting to see what the special class design is - and I am happy to announce it is complete...and you are seeing it here first!

"Mischief at Midnight" is a Halloween needlework tray and matching needlework smalls. This spooky design features a Halloween scene in the base of the tray (also suitable for framing)...the inside walls of the tray feature stars, bats, and ghosts...the outside walls of the tray feature a fence surrounding the entire scene (with a few jack-o-lanterns, owls, and spiders). The gate for the fence is a removable needlebook (attached with hidden magnets)...and there is a coordinating pinkeep and scissor fob to complete your needlework tray set. The tray measures approximately 8.5" x 8.5".

Each piece is stitched with Weeks Dye Works cotton floss on Weeks Dye Works 30-count Tigers Eye hand over-dyed linen. Colors include:  Carrot, Chestnut, Galvanized, Grits, Hazelnut, Kohl, Moss, Sweet Potato, and Whiskey.

Stitches include:  Cross Stitch over two linen threads, Cross Stitch over one linen thread (optional), Back Stitch, Smyrna Cross Stitch, Whip Stitch, and student's choice of Basketweave Tent Stitch, Continental Tent Stitch, or Half Cross Tent Stitch. Class will cover the stitching of the needlework tray and needlework smalls, working the various Tent Stitches and specialty stitches, tips and tricks for Cross Stitch over one linen thread, assembling the needlework tray, finishing techniques for each of the needlework smalls, personalizing your smalls, and making twisted cord - and attendees can plan to complete the scissor fob and/or pinkeep in class!

If you are interested in attending the special event, visit: for more details. You can also see photos from my previous visits and read all about my experiences - just search my blog (the box under my followers) for "New England Stitcher's Retreat".

...and before I get a million questions - this special project has been designed specifically for this retreat and will not be available to the general public until approximately one year after the if you are not attending and are excited about this design, you will have to be very patient....

So there you have it - "Mischief at Midnight" - I hope it was worth the wait!

Tray with gate...

 Needlework Smalls - Front

 Needlework Smalls - Back

 Needlebook - Open

Tray with needlework smalls...

 Tray without smalls...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Springtime Giveaway Recipients

What a delight it was to read all of the comment entries in my latest blog giveaway...I loved reading about what "springtime" means to you - and about how you enjoy this springtime weather - it was such a treat to hear from each and every one of you! I must thank you all for visiting and following my blog, posting comments, and inspiring me on a daily basis. I am making this post a bit later in the day than expected - I have been experiencing some technical difficulties, therefore there are no photos posted today (I apologize) - but rest assured, all of your entries were put into my large basket and the recipients were randomly drawn...yes, that is right, I said recipients! The comments were all so bright and cheerful, I decided to draw two without further are the posts from the two lucky recipients - congratulations to both Barb and Jannie:
  • Anonymous Apr 2, 2012 06:22 PM
    I enjoy the colors of spring - esp after a drab winter! Snowdrops bloom first in our garden, and the Lenten roses are beautiful. Daffodils are so cheerful! But my favorite spring bloomers are the Redbud trees and the azalea bushes, and later in spring, the mountain laurel (our state flower in PA). We have all of these in our yard.
    You create beautiful designs Belinda and I enjoy reading your blog.
  • Jannie Apr 1, 2012 07:26 AM
    I live in Colorado - our springtime here is the best! No humidity. Beautiful Mts. in the distance with snow on the top reminds me that the snow is far far away frome me - right where I like it. The deer come out a lot more to drink from the creek behind us and the ducks in the creek continually do the Happy Dance. Of all the places I've ever lived, the skies are bluer here than anywhere & especially in the spring and summer seasons. I love your blog and I check it everyday - your designs astound me ( - : Thx for the way too generous giveaways. Bless you.

I will be sending an email to both recipients momentarily....and I sincerely thank you all for taking the time to post a comment - I truly wish I could afford to send each entry a prize chart. Rest assured, there will be more giveaways in the future!