Wednesday, July 29, 2015

All-Star Team Quilt

Hello and welcome - thanks for stopping by!

Today, I have a very special project to share with All-Star Team Quilt. Recently, I was contacted to make a quilt out of Ohio State fabrics - now before you ask, YES, I am still a HUGE Michigan fan (GO BLUE!), but this was to be a gift for the customer's husband and I am always thrilled to have custom of course, I took on the challenge. She allowed me to design the quilt and sent me five different Ohio State fabrics to use at my discretion - I just love it when my customers trust my artistic abilities and let me design and make the project my own. Of course, I thought the Ohio Star block would be perfect for this project, so I decided to alternate Ohio Star blocks and Nine Patch blocks to create a good size throw/lap quilt. I chose to use four of the Ohio State printed fabrics, a coordinating gray fabric, and a coordinating black fabric for the quilt top…and the fifth Ohio State printed fabric was used for the backing. I finished this quilt up last week and sent it on it's way...and I was happy to hear that the recipient is already enjoying it!

Would you like a FREE tutorial for this project?? Visit the AccuQuilt Blog, where I am a guest blogger and you can check out my pattern tutorial...I give you all the details to make an All-Star Team Quilt of your very own!
Simply pick your favorite team fabrics and you are well on your can have it completed in time for this coming football season...

The quilt I designed measures 68" x 68", but you can change the size simply by adjusting the number of blocks. I was able to quilt this project (with a little bit of patience) on my domestic machine (oh how I wish I could afford a longarm machine - in fact, I actually dream about it!). I used my AccuQuilt GO! Big Fabric Cutter and three cutting dies to cut this entire quilt (including binding):

As an extra treat, I made a coordinating standard pillowcase and placed the quilt inside for shipping. I also printed out washing instructions and placed the card inside the pillowcase - that way the customer knows how to care for the quilt.

Now, I will have to be on the lookout for yardage of five Michigan fabrics (not so easy to find in Iowa), so I can make one of my very own...and I hope my blog post will entice and inspire you to make one too...and if you do make an “All-Star Team Quilt”, I would LOVE to see your version!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Magnificent Machine Embroidery

It's a quiet evening and has been a very productive day. I managed to get in a good workout at the gym, finished a huge design deadline, cleaned off the top of my desk, completed a long list of household chores, prepared materials for a special gift, got in a 5.25 mile training walk, and I have been machine appliquéing a large customer project for the last hour or so. I'm finally at a good stopping, I thought I would tackle another item on my to-do list - a quick blog post...before heading to my stitching nest to work on my Komen 3-Day exclusive fundraising design (November will be here before we know it, so I better get my hiney in gear and get it finished up!).

Tonight, I thought I would share two more of my AccuQuilt pattern designs/samples that I recently completed. Both projects were designed around some beautiful machine embroidered blocks. The machine embroidery was digitized by V-Stitch Designs to coordinate specifically with AccuQuilt cutting dies. You can find these V-Stitch machine embroidery design sets (and many more) on the AccuQuilt website or visit the V-Stitch Designs Etsy shop.

First, let's take a look at the GO! Fleur De Fancy Wall Hanging. This bright and bold wall hanging uses the the GO! Fleur De Lis cutting die in combination with the GO! Fleur De Lis Appliqué Machine Embroidery Design Set by V-Stitch Designs. The embroidered blocks are then set with sashing strips, borders, and cornerstones. Let your embroidery machine appliqué and embellish the Fleur De Lis blocks...and then use the simple pattern piecing to complete an impressive wall hanging. For a limited time, you can download the pattern for free by visiting:

The second pattern is for the GO! Blooming Bunch Wall Hanging - it features the GO! Flower Bunch cutting die and the GO! Flower Bunch Appliqué Machine Embroidery Design Set by V-Stitch Designs. Beautifully embellished flower blocks are framed with strips, blocks, and borders. This wall hanging could be done with a variety of colors to match your decor...and is perfect to bring a little sunshine to even the darkest room! ...and you can also download this pattern for free (for a limited time) by visiting:

I also finished up a special quilt tutorial for the AccuQuilt blog over the weekend...and I will be sure to post here when it is available. Plus, over the last couple weeks, I have been working on a four Autumn/Halloween patterns for AccuQuilt...and I am starting the samples in a few look for those in the future too! Creativity is overflowing in my studio and I will be back real soon to share more new projects...

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Halloween Treats...

Although we are in the midst of a very HOT summer, it looks like many of you are working on autumn and Halloween projects. I always enjoy checking out creative blogs and social media to see what my fellow stitchers and quilters are working on and I keep seeing fall projects popping up everywhere - perhaps you are all ahead of the game OR perhaps thoughts of autumn and winter are keeping you cool during the heatwave...OR maybe it is the release of the 2015 Just CrossStitch Special Halloween Collector's Issue. This annual issue is quite impressive with 55 spooky designs...and it looks like there is something for everyone - including Blue Ribbon Designs fans - yep, I have two (yes, TWO) spooktacular design sets in this issue!

You can find my "Tricks or Treats Bags" starting on page 37. This fun duo of easy-to-finish treat bags are quick-to-stitch and even more fun to fill. The idea behind this project is to fill the "bag of treats" with candy/treats (of course!) and fill the "bag of tricks" with fun printed slips of paper adorned Halloween jokes and riddles. Each cross stitch design is attached to the front of a bag as a pocket...the finishing is truly simple and I provided instructions. Each flat bag measures approximately 6.5" W x 11.5" H with the stitched design measuring approximately 3.5" W x 5" H....and the bags are tied closed with coordinating ribbon. I stitched the models on 28-count Platinum Cashel linen from Zweigart with The Gentle Art Sampler Threads...and DMC Cotton Floss conversions are provided.

Next, you can find my "Halloween Portraits" starting on page 55. This is a set of eight feather tree ornaments...each featuring a Halloween motif. They are quick and fun to stitch with each having a stitch count of 27 W x 27 H. These were stitched on 35-count Baby's Breath Linen from Weeks Dye Works with Weeks Dye Works Hand Over Dyed Floss (DMC conversions are provided)...and they were pillow finished with black twisted cord and embellished with 1/16" ribbon. I have designed several other sets of feather tree ornaments to accommodate additional holidays, so look for those in the future from Blue Ribbon Designs!     


Luck me, I stitched these designs in November/December of 2014, so I am truly ready for Halloween 2015!

....AND look for another special Blue Ribbon Designs Halloween project in the The World of Cross Stitching Magazine - Issue 233 (on sale in the UK August 13)...more details coming soon....

....AND I have a feature project in the October 2015 issue of Just Cross Stitch Magazine...I can't wait for you to see it...

Currently, I am stitching the model for my 2015 Komen 3-Day exclusive fundraising is coming along beautifully and I hope it will be worth the wait! I have passed the halfway point, so I will have more information and photos for you soon...

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Flower Bunch Bow-quet

Hello friends! Today I am giving you all the scoop on one of my latest designs for AccuQuilt - the GO! Flower Bunch Bow-quet Table Topper. This bright and cheerful table topper was a joy to work on - and I just love how the solid color fabrics give it a vintage look! If you are new to appliqué, this is great project for you, as the varying shapes will give you a chance to improve/perfect your skills - and appliqué enthusiasts will enjoy the assortment of detailed motifs. I designed this project around two of AccuQuilt's new dies: GO! Flower Bunch (55332) and GO! Bow-2 1/2", 3 1/2", 4 1/2" (55341)...and it incorporates several basic die favorites: GO! Tumbler-3 1/2", GO! Square-3 1/2", GO Square-8 1/2", and GO! Strip Cutter-2 1/2". Choose your favorite fabric colors to give this project your own twist...and the adventurous may even want to add fabric prints. Having the ability to apply fusible web to your appliqué shape fabrics before running them through your fabric cutter gets you sewing in no time, making this project easy to complete in a weekend.

For a limited time, you can download this pattern for FREE on the fresh, new AccuQuilt website - simply visit:

Photo courtesy of AccuQuilt

Photo courtesy of AccuQuilt
I hope this project has brightened your day and you will try making a Flower Bunch Bow-quet project of your very own...and if you do, I would LOVE to see your take on it...

For now, I am off to pin baste a large quilt...and work on a new custom floral appliqué project for a customer...then I will be in my stitching nest this evening (following a training walk)...
Enjoy your Saturday!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Photograph Friday

Tonight, I thought I would give you a glimpse at what is inspiring me this week...this is just a small sampling of the photos I snapped since my last post - most were taken on my 3-Day training walks...and a couple were taken on the fourth of July while we were out on a friend's boat for the holiday. It is no secret that the outdoors sparks my my daily walks find me with tons of inspiration for new designs. Oh, and of course, since Schazti is my training partner, there are a couple photos of her, as well...

Of course, my sewing machine is humming along during the day...and I'm in my stitching nest each night working on the model for my exclusive fundraising design....I have a ton of creative endeavors in progress and I'll be back to share some of them with you very soon!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Thursday Tidbits

Happy Tuesday friends - is it really July already?! I have been keeping to a rigorous much so, that I thought I posted this update several days ago - in reality, I prepared the photos and then never wrote the post. Ugh. Although I haven't found much time to blog lately, I have been keeping busy with a wide range of creative projects! I have done a plethora of red, white, and blue sewing/quilting for customers (my own original designs)...and I have my next five customer projects cut and ready to piece...and I am currently sewing a large customer quilt that combines Ohio Star blocks and Nine-Patch blocks. I received three new AccuQuilt Cutting dies that I am looking forward to playing with, as well...I just need a few more hours in each day! I am stitching every evening on my exclusive Komen 3-Day fundraising piece...which is coming along beautifully...look a little further down in this post for a peek. I am also doing daily training walks with Schatzi and going to the gym...and trying desperately to keep up with house and yard work. Yep, as always, I am keeping busy, but I am in a good place and enjoying my crazy schedule...

I continue to see beauty and inspiration on my daily walks...and I try to snap a few photos along the way. With the flooding, we are not able to go to the lake (or walk some of our favorite trails), so we have been walking the neighborhood. Here are just a few photos of what has been inspiring me...I love to soak in the colors this time of year...

Finally, last weekend, I took a (rare) moment to unwind and relax - my husband and I enjoyed margaritas on our deck...and even lit the fire was a lovely evening...

So now, it is back to my schedule...I have an hour of cardio at the gym, a lawn to mow, dogs to walk, and a date with my sewing machine...