Monday, June 23, 2014

You Never Stop Growing...

Several months ago, my Blue Ribbon Designs website celebrated ten years in existence...seriously, ten years...and in the needlework industry, that is really saying something. Things sure have changed during the past ten years - it has been a decade filled with rewards, stitching friendships, personal accomplishments, and new creative endeavors...along with challenges, hiccups, and downfalls. Recently, we have all watched the economy and copyright infringements truly damage the needlework community...and although needlework has been my livelihood and full time job for over ten years, in the last twelve months, I have found it almost impossible to make ends meet - I have even been seriously contemplating going back to the corporate world. I have revamped my business plan a million times - tried different avenues - looked at more cost-effective solutions - and have even studied new ways to deliver my products. I'm just not ready to say goodbye to a business that has brought me so much joy and fulfillment...and allowed me to be creative on a daily basis for over ten years. So, with changing and challenging times, it's time to make some adjustments. The first is a newly updated website at with improved features and a shopping cart....yep, you will be able to order my designs, along with my handmade items directly from my website.

First, you must know: I have always and will always support needlework shops...and although consumers will now be able to purchase Blue Ribbon Designs charts/patterns from me directly, they will still need to purchase all the needed supplies and materials from the needlework shop/supplier of their choice. I will still be doing business with needlework shops and distributors - and your favorite shops will still carry and be able to order Blue Ribbon Designs. With well over 100 designs in the BRD catalog, it is impossible for shops and distributors to have stock of each and every design - this new shopping option just gives needleworkers a chance to purchase those designs that their local shop doesn't stock or want to order. It will also help my international fans obtain my designs with less hassle.

Another perk of the updated website - all my handmade items that have been found in my Etsy shop will now be listed along with my charts - so you can do all your Blue Ribbon Designs shopping in one place. I will also be adding some original sewing and quilting patterns too...

This updated website has definitely been a learning experience - with my limited budget, I was unable to pay someone thousands of dollars to build the site, so I have been building it on my own for several months. It has been a very time consuming project...and I have spent hours upon hours adding products and doing testing. I now have an SSL certificate in place, insuring your orders and purchasing information are safe and secure (you will see "https" and a lock in your browser address line). There have been a few glitches along with way - mostly cosmetic and making the website have my personality...and I am sure now that the site is live, other small errors will be found (it is just not feasible for me to test every device and every browser in every scenario).

The site is now also "mobile" - so those of you wanting to use your smartphone will be able to place secure orders through the mobile site. I will tell you, if you choose the option "view full desktop site" from your mobile device, it will not be as pretty, but it will still be functional. The entire site is best viewed from a desktop, laptop, or tablet with the most current browsers and operating systems. Another note - if you have visited my website recently, you may have to F5 refresh to see the new website.

Payment can be made with all major credit cards and PayPal...and there is a "Contact Us" page for those that need to request other arrangements - I will do my very best to accommodate you. I ship internationally...and you have options for shipping (USPS First Class, USPS Parcel, USPS Priority Mail, or UPS)...and as many of you know, I ship promptly.

I hope you find the newly updated website easy to maneuver...and I hope you like the updated features. If you notice anything strange, any misspellings, or something just doesn't look right or add up properly, please feel free to send me a (kind) message...I would love to hear your feedback and would appreciate constructive criticism or corrections (written in a nice manner). I should also mention - I am working on coding to have several of the header and footer menu items open in a new window (items such as News, Blog, and Facebook) - this will be more convenient and keep you from having to hit your "back", rest assured, I am still working on a few adjustments/improvements to make viewing even better! It's a work in progress...

I am extremely passionate about the needlework industry and I would love to continue to bring you the original designs you have come to know and with all that being said, it is back to work (finally) on some new designs and handmade items - I am ready to get back into the swing of things. Thank you all for your love, support, and patience while I took on this HUGE project.


  1. Well done, Belinda! It looks great! Off to wander around some more!


  2. Congrats!! On 10 years
    I love your designs
    Good luck

  3. Congratulations on 10 years designing and doing something you love to do, which bring joy and happiness to loads of stitchers. WOW!! I really like the new website... its very user friendly and easy to locate things. I like the fact when I move my mouse it shows I can enlarge the picture. I love the layout as it is easy to go to where you want to... oh yes your bio is great! So nice to read up all about the designer. The future coming soon section is a real treat and full of lovely things to come :) I also LOVE the publications section too... everywhere your designs have been published I can find them now! A marvelous website all I need to do now is place an order! :) Thank You its great!! :)

  4. Congrats on your 10 year anniversary and good luck with the new website!

  5. Wow, I am exhausted just reading all you have been up to. Best of luck on your new path....may you continue be creative and even more successful"