Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Pink Halloween

Today we celebrate Halloween and the last day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month...which makes complete sense, because cancer is extremely scary (but it is definitely not a trick or a treat). I'm going to spend my Halloween afternoon training (indoors at the gym because it's raining again) and prepare for the Komen 3-Day which will be here in less than a week. Now that I have kicked my head cold to the curb and finished a GIGANTIC deadline, I have been able to get back to training and I am feeling ready for the 60-miles in Dallas. Before writing this post, I was reflecting on my journey thus far and my last minute preparations...and I am  excited to share that I am just shy of reaching an astounding $5,000...and although I am probably not going to reach my fundraising goal this year, I am beyond touched by the incredible support I continue to receive year after year - I am tremendously blessed and grateful! Seriously - I am close to being speechless and touched beyond belief - a HUGE thank you to everyone who has supported and encouraged both me and my fellow teammates - I am so very thankful - this wouldn't be possible without you. I am feeling so very blessed to have so much love and support! I can't believe I leave for Texas in a few short days - I have been gathering all the needed gear and getting it ready to pack - it will be here SOON...

To read more about the Komen 3-Day, my reasons for walking, and/or support me and my fellow teammates on this incredible journey, visit: - thank you for helping me make a difference!

Okay, so after all the "pink" talk, I haven't forgotten about Halloween or my fellow needleworkers/ is a little Halloween collage featuring many of your favorite spooky Blue Ribbon Designs...
Happy Halloween to all my friends, family, and followers - I heart you!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Saturday Samplings

I thought I would stop in for a quick blog visit this afternoon. It's been a bit of a whirlwind here the last several weeks....I have had an abundance of crazy work deadlines, a miserable head cold, and I have been preparing for the Komen 3-Day event that takes place in less than two weeks. Thank you to those who have checked in to make sure I'm doing okay - all is well, I've just been over-the-top busy and feeling under the weather.

This weekend is the International Quilt Market in Houston (a wholesale trade show that is not open to the general public) and I have been working on a plethora of top secret projects. I can't share anything with you just yet - but I have been designing and creating samples - basically sewing/quilting round the clock for the last three weeks...probably why I have been suffering from a nasty head cold/virus. I still have five quilts, a table topper/set of placemats, and a tree skirt left to complete before I leave for Dallas to walk 60-miles in less than two weeks. All of these projects are in the fact, I am taking a brief break from the sewing marathon to write this post.

Also going on in my world...some VERY FUN new stash arrived over the last several weeks. I won an incredible giveaway from the Therm O Web Blog for National Sewing Month - the package consisted of 7 Deco Foil colors of my choice, Deco Foil Hot Melt Adhesive, Liquid Adhesive, Spray Adhesive, along with a selection of Kona Cotton Solids (5 charm packs) and collectible canvas tote bag from Robert Kaufman! I about fell over when I got the e-mail - what a treat to win this incredible giveaway...and I can't wait to try the new Deco Foils. Then, believe it or not, the very next day I won an Instagram giveaway from Robert Kaufman Fabrics -  21 Small Cuts (Fat Quarters) from the new collection Naptime 2 by Darlene Zimmerman - they are ADORABLE 1930's reproduction fabrics featuring kitties, elephants, and bunnies. I should have bought a lottery ticket - that is the luckiest I have ever been - someone knew how badly I needed a pick-me-up and the stars aligned TWICE! Then if all of that wasn't enough, I received an incredible surprise package earlier this week, just when my head cold was in full swing - it was packed with bright and cheerful fabric yardage, several needlework kits, and a couple special owl gifts. Friendship and fabric is truly the best medicine - this package from a very dear friend brought me comfort and love when I needed it most. I may be feeling under the weather, but I am definitely feeling blessed.

Other than that, when time allows, I have been walking and working out at the gym...taking Schatzi on my long walks and playing with her at the park. I have been taking in the beautiful autumn scenery and enjoying the cooler weather...getting prepared for the Komen 3-Day....and of course, nursing my head cold. I am also looking forward to getting out on the water very soon on my husband's new bass boat - it will be a nice break from the chaos...

For now - I'm off to make another cup of hot tea and then it's back to the sewing machine...I'm going to be chained to it until I leave for Dallas (and that is just fine with me!)....

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Friendship In Bloom

Today I am sharing my cute little "Friendship In Bloom" design - this small complimentary design is available exclusively to members of The Samplerlife (a Yahoo! Group and Facebook Group) that I have been a member of for many years. The Samplerlife is a large online group dedicated to the needlework sampler lover in all stitchers - members share a love for historic, reproduction, and new samplers. It is basically a forum for all things needlework sampler related...and of course, a place to enable and be enabled. This year, the lovely Ina (admin of the group) organized a designer stitch-a-long exclusive to members of The Samplerlife - the SAL started in January and 25 designers provided a 50 x 50 square design. Some members are stitching each design separately, while others have chosen to do all the designs on one piece of fabric with a stitched border - it is quite fun to see the in-progress photos! This month, my "Friendship in Bloom" design is being featured and I can't wait to see how it fits in with the designs everyone has stitched so far. I designed my piece with gift-giving in mind - I actually made my stitched piece into a pincushion and then gifted it to my very dear friend Robin (I thought the little stitched robins made it a perfect gift for her!). My model was stitched with Weeks Dye Works threads (DMC conversions are provided) on 35-count Angel Hair linen from Weeks Dye Works, which made it the perfect size for a pincushion. I used coordinating fabrics when finishing and added a yellow ribbon/bow to make it cheerful.

If you are stitching this design, I would love to see your finish...and if you are not a member, but would like to join, there is still time...
Visit The Samplerlife Yahoo! Group here:
Visit The Samplerlife Facebook Group here:
Once your membership is approved, there are directions posted on how to get signed up for the SAL. Designers that generously put together a square for the stitchalong include: Tams Creations, The Primitive Jewel, Little House Needlework, Tempting Tangles, Faby Reilly, Wendy KC Designs, Janie Hubble, HAED,  Thea Gouverneur, Dames of the Needle, Rosewood Manor, Paula Kelmscott Designs, Jardin Prive, AuryTM-Designs, Kooler Design Studio...that is to name a few - there are more!

If you are new to Blue Ribbon Designs or are looking for other small designs, visit my website to see my complete catalog (and you'll find a handful complimentary patterns as well!)...

Friday, October 2, 2015

Autumn In Iowa

Can you believe autumn is upon us already?? - I feel like the months are rushing by...pretty soon it will be Halloween...then Thanksgiving...and then (dare I say) Christmas...whew - where does the time go?! Signs of fall are everywhere here in Iowa - the tree leaves are turning lovely colors (I've already had to rake my front yard) and I am hoping sweatshirt weather is here to stay for a, there have been a plethora of autumn projects on my to-do table lately - which is perfect, as I really like working with fall fabrics. One of my most recent projects is a quilted table runner tutorial (titled "Autumn in Iowa") that I designed and created for the AccuQuilt can find my guest post/tutorial with all the details here:

For this project, I used my AccuQuilt GO! Fabric Cutter and these four AccuQuilt GO! cutting dies:

After using a blanket stitch to machine appliqué each of the leaves on a base block, I used a straight stitch on my machine to create all the leaf veins and can read about this step on the AccuQuilt Blog and see close-ups and the backs of my leaf blocks. I stitched them freely and organically (it was quite enjoyable) or you could draw lines to follow...or you may choose not to have stems and veins.

My runner is 24″ x 48″, but you could easily be adapt the size to your needs by changing the number of blocks per row…or simply by adjusting the number of rows.

The tutorial for my design includes fabric amounts, instructions, and additional photos...that way, you can make one of your very own! Stop by the AccuQuilt Blog and check out my guest blog post for all the specifics:

...and be sure to check out all the guest blogger tutorials happening this month - each one is full of creativity! For a list of contributors and links to their blogs, see my earlier post here:
My next AccuQuilt guest blogger post and tutorial will be in November...and it will be another holiday is already in the works!

For now, it's back to my daily to-do list - I finished up 72 quilt blocks this week (a very large project, which is why today's post is a couple days later than anticipated) and I am on to three more GO! Talk to the Animals quilts and a pile of custom projects, plus some model stitching and know me - there is always something creative happening in the Blue Ribbon Designs studio!