Monday, June 25, 2018

Spectacular Sixteen

Hello creative friends! I just placed Garin on his after-breakfast timeout...that gives me about an hour to catch up on some pressing work. Orders are packaged and important correspondence is I thought I would stop by for a quick visit and share some needlework finishing, before the day gets away from me (and I get started on a large AccuQuilt project that I need to complete in a very short amount of time). These pieces were all stitched by the same incredible needleworker (and dear friend) and I simply completed the finishing. I will put designer names/titles in the photo captions (if I have the information), just in case you are interested (special thanks to Robin who sent me the details on one that stumped me!). This fabulous grouping was quite enjoyable to put together and several pieces definitely challenged me. One project was a limited edition kit that included finishing materials (Swirly Birds and Flowers from SamSarah Design Studio)...and one had a pre-finished Winter Thread Pal provided (Winter Wonderland by Little House Needleworks)...for the others, I chose the supplies, doing my best to make the pieces resemble the model images. I am really happy with how each and every piece turned out...and I think (I hope) the stitcher was quite pleased too! I still have well over fifty needlework pieces to finish for clients, so I will have more fun photos to show you soon. For now, enjoy these images...and I hope you will be inspired to pull out your most recent cross stitch piece(s) and do a little needlework finishing yourself...

Swirly Birds and Flowers from SamSarah Design Studio
Limited Kit from the Silver Needle’s A Little Help From Our
 Stitching Friends Stitching Circle

(additional angle)

Winter Wonderland by Little House Needleworks

The Sister Purse by JBW Designs

Twitter Blue by the Courtney Collection
from the 2009 Just CrossStitch Ornament Issue

Redbird Sampler by Heart in Hand

Mary's Work Sampler Bag by Stacy Nash Primitives

Hedgerow Birds Project Bag by Blackbird Designs (Loose Feathers Pattern 40)

Hedgerow Birds Project Bag by Blackbird Designs (Loose Feathers Pattern 40)

Various Mini Stockings by Blackbird Designs
...details in single images below...

Never Far Apart -by Blackbird Designs
(was a limited edition kit)

Love is in the Air : Three Stockings for February by Blackbird Designs

Crowning the Tree by Blackbird Designs

By the Chimney with Care: Three Stockings for January by Blackbird Designs

Winter Snow Stocking by Heartstring Samplery


Merry Noel Collection: Festive Redbird by Homespun Elegance
Christmas Blessings by Milady's Needle

Saturday, June 16, 2018

A Peek Inside My Design Process

Sometimes the most bizarre things inspire unique design ideas...and that was definitely the case when working on a recent AccuQuilt project. Today, I thought I would share a bit of my design process for the Studio Quilter's Basket Table Runner Pattern that was created for the new Studio Super Giant Strip Cutter. This new strip cutter die has four sizes of small strips all on one die:  ¾", 1", 1½", 2" (¼", ½", ¾", 1½" Finished)...and the challenge was to use all four of these strip sizes in a single project. I didn't want the project to be long, boring strips...I wanted something that stood out a bit more...something that hadn't been seen a million times....something that had some oomph! I immediately started playing with some design ideas in EQ8 (Electric Quilt 8 Quilt Design Software)....but I just couldn't compose a design that stood out to me. I decided to let the project rest for a moment - pause and hit the reset button. I resolved to take our German Shepherd puppy for a walk and clear my head...and along the way, I found my inspiration...

While walking several blocks away from our home, I spied a couple vintage-looking webbed lawn chairs (which I hadn't seen since my childhood)...retro folding lawn chairs with woven bright colored webbing strips for the back and seat. At that moment, it became clear - I would use those lawn chairs as a base design for my current project. I grabbed my iPhone, snapped a few photos, and headed back to my studio to get my idea drawn up in EQ8. To my surprise, it translated really well! I got a single block designed....then reversed two colors for a second that moment, I knew I had it figured out...the Quilter's Basket Table Runner was born. Once I had the pattern written, I really wanted to name the design after those retro-looking webbed lawn chairs, but I thought it might get lost in translation...with the pattern having a "basketweave" look, Quilter's Basket seemed like a logical title...but you, my friends, now know the true story behind the design!

It was quite fun to create the sample...and I only used two cutting dies - the new Studio Super Giant Strip Cutter- ¾", 1", 1½", 2" (¼", ½", ¾", 1½" Finished) and the Studio Super Giant Strip Cutter-2½" (2" Finished) for binding. The blocks are easy to piece by creating strip sets and sub-cutting...

You can currently download the pattern for free by visiting:

There you have it - design inspiration found in an unlikely object. I hope this post will encourage you to look for creative ideas in unusual places! Take a little time this weekend to see the beauty that surrounds you...

Friday, June 15, 2018

Pretty Project Bags

It has been a needlework finishing frenzy in the studio this week (which I will share soon!), but I thought I would stop by for a very quick visit today and share a plethora of project bags I completed the last couple weeks. This is an assortment of my large and small project bags...and all the fabrics were provided by clients. I have almost two hundred zippered bags on order right now - an assortment of large project bags, small project bags, and tool bags...yes, I am sewing up a storm to catch up! Recently, I have had several questions on the patterns I use and the sizes of the I thought I would clear up any confusion - these are made from my own pattern that I designed specifically for cross stitch patterns and supplies
(it is currently not available for sale):

  • Large Project Bags
    Size: Approximately 14.25" W x 10.25" H
    Designed for full size patterns measuring 8.5" x 11" and supplies
  • Small Project Bags
     Approximately 10.75" W x 7.75" H
    Designed for half sheet patterns measuring 5.5" x 8.5" and supplies
  • Tool Bags
    Approximately 9.25" W x 7.25" H
    Designed for small projects and or tools/accessories.

My custom bags are made to order (usually my customers supply fabrics of their choice)...and when time allows, I make them for my Etsy Shop (with fabrics I choose). The three sizes listed above are my basic/most requested bags, but (for a small additional fee) I can make them to any size requested. Should you like more information (pricing and fabric size details), please e-mail me (link in profile). 

For now, I am off to the gym...then back to the cutting table and sewing machine. Thanks for stopping by for a visit today...and be sure to stop back soon to see my latest creations...

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Petal Power Wall Hanging

A little over a month ago, I was busy working on today's feature project (along with an array of other patterns/designs to be shared soon). I designed and created this Studio Petal Power Wall Hanging pattern especially for AccuQuilt...and now that they have released the new Studio 2 dies and patterns on their website, I am finally able to share it with you.

AccuQuilt just released ten cutting dies for the Studio 2 Fabric Cutter - VERY exciting for us Studio fans, as it has been quite a while! This new Studio 2 collection includes some great shapes/blocks, including: Studio Crazy Quilt, Studio Fractured Tumbler, Studio Cleopatra’s Fan, Studio Super Giant Strip Cutter-¾”, 1″, 1 ½”, 2″, Studio Santa Stocking, Studio Orange Peels, Studio Burp Cloth, Studio Hexagon-3″ Sides, and Studio Baby Bib. Today, I am sharing the pattern and sample I created for the Studio Orange Peels. Designed to be appliqued onto standard 2½", 5" and 10" squares, these Orange Peel units have a cut size of  2", 4½" and 9½". My design uses all three sizes of Orange Peels included on the die, along with 10" Squares, and a 2½" Strip Cutter for binding. I found this die to be quite versatile with the three different sizes...and really had fun playing with design ideas in EQ8!

This wall hanging goes together rather quickly and finishes at 38" x 38"...and it is perfect for practicing your machine appliqué skills! Currently, you can download the pattern for Petal Power on the AccuQuilt website for FREE - simply click on the following link:

I have been working on piles of needlework finishing this week...and I can't wait to share the beautiful stitching my clients have trusted me to finish...WOW - there are some fabulous pieces...and some have definitely challenged me (in a GREAT way!). I'm also knee deep in project bag sewing...the to-do list is LONG...and more AccuQuilt projects are ready to share with you soon, so please stop back later this week for a visit!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Two Stags and a Star

Summer heat and humidity have definitely arrived and I am not even remotely thinking about the winter holidays...but if you are an early bird stitcher (you know who you are - "one of those" ready for every holiday and always stitching in advance) working on Christmas ornaments, then you are in luck (and WAY too ahead of the game), because the Just CrossStitch Annual Christmas Ornament Preview Issue is here! If you have been enjoying my woodland ornament series, then you will be happy to see Blue Ribbon Designs included in this issue. You can find "Two Stags and a Star" (AKA "Two Stars and a Stag", as listed in the magazine) in the the August 2018 Issue, which is now available.

My 2018 preview ornament complements my woodland ornaments from the past several years and uses Cross Stitch (over-two), Back Stitch, Long Straight Stitches, and Smyrna Cross Stitch. I worked the model on 40-count Mocha linen from Weeks Dye Works (same as previous ornaments in this series) and used Weeks Dye Works cotton floss (DMC six-strand embroidery floss conversions are provided). I opted for a flat-finish with two-tone cord as an embellishment....and as a little finishing tip for those of you using the 40-count linen - I used standard hotel room keys padded with cotton batting (or you could use fake or expired credit cards) instead of the padded mounting board that the magazine suggests...they are the perfect size!

Nine Christmas ornaments are featured in this special preview leading up to the annual Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament Issue out later this, if you are not a subscriber, pick-up or download the latest issue ( - grab some Christmas colors from your stash and let's get started on those holiday ornaments!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Posy Patch Table Topper

I'm taking a brief moment to blog this afternoon - I simply need a break. Finding a balance this week is a challenge and (truth me told) I am feeling completely overwhelmed and a little down. Normally I would take a walk and clear my head, but it is close to 100 degrees outside and the air feels quite heavy - walking the dogs a little while ago wasn't even enjoyable. So, maybe a little writing therapy will do the trick and give me an attitude long as I don't look down at my desk, which is completely covered with piles of things needing attention...ugh...

Let's brighten up this post with my GO! Posy Patch Table Topper! Yesterday I mentioned some of the new AccuQuilt GO! cutting dies...and today, I'm here to show you four more that were released on May 24th - GO! Square 1 ½", GO! Music Medley, GO! Northwoods Medley and GO! Circles ½", ¾", 1″, 1 ¼". I designed the pattern that is included with the GO! Circles ½", ¾", 1″, 1 ¼" die and created the cheerful sample. This pattern uses all four sizes of small circles included on the new die board and was created with both cotton quilting fabric and wool to give it dimension (yes, you can cut wool with your GO! Fabric Cutter!)....and combines traditional piecing with machine appliqué. 

I thought it would be fun to show you the back of the sample...

Even more exciting, GO! Posy Patch is AccuQuilt's "Free Pattern of the Week"...simply visit: to download this summery floral pattern...and while there, you can also take a look at a video showing you how to create it!

Hundreds (yes, I said hundreds) of project bags are calling my name, so I guess this short afternoon break is over...back to the sewing machine....