Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Seasonal Samplings Wall Hanging

Hello friends. It is a crazy weather day here in Iowa (yes, I'm still in Iowa) and we are currently experiencing "thunder sleet" (who knew this was a thing?!)...and, of course, more snow is on the way....but this is WAY better than the polar vortex -50 temperatures we had last week. After finishing some minor work on our house this morning, I am settled in with a hot cup of tea (hoping it will sooth my sore throat) and catching up on a few online tasks. With the craziness of the move, I have had minimal time to to catch up on correspondence - thank you to everyone who has checked in on me and sent me messages/notes/comments and I apologize if I haven't answered you...rest assured, I am hanging in there.

A quick "moving" update - our house in Iowa is finally on the market and we are hoping for a buyer soon - I am staying in the finished basement with Schatzi and Garin and very minimal furnishings - our entire life and my business is packed in storage PODS - my husband is working full-time in Kansas and living out of a hotel - he is on the search for our dream home down there. That's it in a nutshell - I will be in Iowa until our home is sold.

With my entire studio packed, there isn't any sewing/quilting happening and my online shops are temporarily closed...but I have done some stitching when things aren't insane. I only had a couple very small projects (I didn't think things would be up in the air for quite this long), but my sweet friend Terri sent me "Paisley" by Stacy Nash Primitives all kitted up as a gift for my milestone birthday next week...so I have been working on that...in fact, she is about half done. I have also been doing some designing and charting...along with layouts for new pieces...anything to stay creative and give me purpose.

Today's images are of some stitching I did last fall...a gift for my mommy's birthday. I stitched "Seasonal Samplings" by Hillside Samplings (a rare non-BRD finish!). I decided to stitch the boxes vertically instead of horizontally and finished it as a quilted wall hanging. I was super happy with how it turned out...and it was quite a special surprise for my mom. I packed the chart for the move, so I can't tell you what fabric I used, but I can tell you that I used the DMC conversion...I'm guessing I used the chart listed fabric, as I had it kitted for many years...






I have a few more house details to take care of today before the realtor takes some new photos tomorrow...then I may enjoy a little stitching time...or work on gathering documentation for our taxes - keeping busy keeps me positive. I want to thank you for your patience during this big transition - I truly appreciate all the notes, love and support! 💗

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Feelin' Groovy

Yesterday was a snow day. I honestly don't think I have shoveled that much in decades...side note: my kind husband (always thinking of others), sold our wonderful snowblower to one of his friends for well less than it was worth (without asking me)...thinking that we wouldn't have to move it and it would help his friend out...plus, he didn't think we would need it where we are going to be located (which I think is inaccurate)...unfortunately, he forgot that I am still living in Iowa and it is WINTER. Yeah, I was outside shoveling snow for over three hours yesterday (it was one heck of a fasted cardio workout!)...and then, lucky me, I got to dig out/defrost our Jeeps, as our garage is full of furniture and boxes. I have suddenly reverted back to my twenties - living in a basement with minimal furniture, little to no money coming in, shoveling snow, and cleaning off vehicles frequently (starting them at least once a day to make sure they will start in the future)....all those things I worked so hard to get away from are back for a repeat performance. Geez, I cannot wait until we are moved into a new home - this living situation is definitely not ideal...at this point, I just have to laugh about it all...

Today I thought I would share another recent design/pattern and sample I created for AccuQuilt - it is for one of their newer cutting dies, the Studio Fractured Tumbler-6" Finished. This unique cutting die has multiple block options and that creates quite a few design possibilities...as you can see in my image below, there are tumblers and fractured tumblers on one die. You may remember the "Give it a Whirl" pattern I also designed for this die - I briefly shared about a few months ago. The design I am sharing today is a wall hanging I titled "Feelin' Groovy" and it is more of a modern layout...perfect for scraps!

Feelin' Groovy

Give it a Whirl
Yes, I designed both of these projects using the same cutting die! Like all of my projects, I designed this wall hanging in EQ8 (Electric Quilt 8 quilt design software). I knew it was going to be more of a scrappy piece, so to get a good feel for the final look, I colored the blocks using standard fabrics supplied in the software.


Something about this completed design reminded me of lava lamps - hence the name "Feelin' Groovy"....

You can find both these Studio Fractured Tumbler quilt patterns in the Studio 2 Pattern section of the AccuQuilt website.





I hope this cheerful quilt brightened your day!

I am now headed back out into the frozen tundra to shovel the end of our driveway once AGAIN, where the plow has covered it...and to start our vehicles...just another day in the life of a twenty-year-old. 😃

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Project Bags Aplenty

It's another winter day here, with frozen rain falling on our snow covered ground (and more snow on the way)...and I just skated out to the mailbox to mail a letter. The dogs had me up bright and early today in a messy turn of events that I won't go into here...but let's just say it wasn't the preferred way to start my morning. I'm doing my best to stay warm, keep the sidewalks/driveway clear, and trying (some days without much luck) to stay positive while we attempt to sell our home in the dead of Iowa winter (this is not an easy task).

I've been spending my days packing, cleaning, organizing, fixing and shoveling...oh, how I long to be sewing and stitching! I can't believe I waited four months for my fancy sewing machine to be fixed and now it is sitting in a closet, waiting for the move (it is NOT going into a storage POD) - it's just heartbreaking - I am truly going through creative withdrawal...yes, the struggle is real. I do have a few small stitching projects kitted up and as soon as the last box is packed, I will be happily grabbing a needle and thread.

For now, enjoy these GORGEOUS large and small project bag photos...I recently created all of these with lovely customer supplied fabrics...








Saturday, January 19, 2019

Winter Writings

Happy winter! The snow has stopped falling, and thanks to a wonderful neighbor and his snow blower and my fancy new shovel, the driveway and sidewalks are clear....with the garage full of boxes and furniture, I had vehicles to clean, as well (of course). Now that those duties are behind me and the dogs are walked, I am trying to warm up and catch up on a few tasks. 

I told you I would be back soon with some fabulous needlework finishing...and these finishes will not disappoint. Just a little reminder, these are not my designs or my stitching, just my finishing work. I enjoyed each of these so much...a couple challenged me and that is always a good thing. I must admit, after finishing the snowman (Whittaker from the Animal Cracker Series by Stacy Nash Primitive Designs), I am completely obsessed with this series and *in love* with each pattern - I wish I would have purchased several and kitted them up to stitch while we are mid-move...they would have been perfect...and if you think Whittaker is adorable, you should see Paisley, his companion! I don't have much time to stitch projects from other designers, but I must make an exception for some of these - they make me smile! 

Designer: Stacy Nash Primitive Designs
Animal Cracker Series
"Quincy" (owl)
"Whittaker" (snowman)

Backs

Whittaker

Designer: The Primitive Jewel
"Bird on a Peg"

Designer: La-D-Da (Lori Markovic)
Samplar Hare

Back



Friday, January 18, 2019

Walking Bear Foot

Here in central Iowa, we are in the midst of a big winter storm and the snow is falling heavily - I'm trying to keep warm and catch up on a few things, so I thought I would stop by for a quick visit. While we are mid-move and my studio is completely packed - I am sharing some projects I did in the last couple months that I can finally show. I am still busy packing up my "warehouse" and we are still searching for our dream home, while our house is on the market....so everything is a bit "up in the air" and a little overwhelming...it is definitely not easy to move in the middle of a Midwest winter!

Today's focus is on a recent design/pattern and sample I created for AccuQuilt for one of their new cutting dies the GO! Bear's Paw-14" Finished. The pattern is included when you purchase the cutting die and I titled it GO! Walking Bear Foot (you can also find it the pattern section of their website). The GO! Bear's Paw is a BOB (block on board) die, so all the pieces you need to complete the 14" block are included on one cutting die. I used the GO! Strip Cutter-2 1/2" (2" Finished) for the sashing, border, and binding....and I chose lovely prints from QT Fabrics...





For my quilty friends - I still have a couple more projects I completed for AccuQuilt to share with you over the coming weeks. I will be back soon with some adorable needlework finishing I completed a dear friend...

If you are in the path of the current winter storms - stay safe and warm!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Pretty Prints and Projects

Good evening friends! I know, I know - I should be packing up my "warehouse" (the last area of our home to pack), but truth be told, I am exhausted and emotionally spent - I just need a little time away from "all things house"...so here I am...

Before things got completely out of control this past fall, I made a trip to Lake Summerset, IL to visit my mommy and her husband - I snapped this photo of the breakfast tray my mom prepared for me...I just thought it looked photogenic (and delicious). We were eating breakfast at the window seat overlooking the lake and bird watching...oh how I long for another quiet, relaxing moment with my mom...but for now, it will have to wait...

Today, I am sharing a handful of project bags and zippered pouches I whipped up before the holidays (this is just a small assortment)...these were all made with client supplied fabrics. Getting to play with all sorts of lovely materials is one of my favorite things about custom sewing/quilting...it is always fun to open up a package from one of my customers and see the beautiful prints they have chosen for their bags...










I still have a lot of creative projects to share with you - several quilts, more fabulous needlework finishing, more project bags, and a few personal stitching projects...so the next time I *need* a break, I will be back to visit with you...

Monday, January 14, 2019

On The Move

Is it really January?! I hope the new year is being kind to you and the winter months aren't too chilly. It's been a while...but I'm still here. I apologize for my disappearing act - I haven't been intentionally neglecting my blog or readers...or any of you who have been kind enough to send me uplifting messages and e-mails. Truth is, Blue Ribbon Designs is on the move and I have been packing and cleaning and preparing our home of fifteen years for sale...it's been a challenging/busy/messy couple months.

My husband (who had the lovely flowers delivered to me a few days ago) accepted a promotion with his job and has been working full-time in the Kansas City area since the middle of November (actually, for more than a year)...and I have been in Iowa packing up our home and my business and getting everything stored in PODS, while we prepare our home for sale and search for a new home in Kansas. The interior painting, carpet and minor fixes are finally complete and our home is now on the market...so I am living in our finished basement with our two German Shepherds while we search for our new living quarters and sell our current house. It has been a whirlwind for this born and raised Iowa girl and all these changes are bittersweet. 

So, until we are settled, my Etsy shop is on vacation and my website shopping cart is disabled...and I have temporarily stopped taking custom orders. You can still explore both websites, but shopping is turned off until I have things unpacked. Rest assured, I will be taking your orders again soon! In fact, I can't wait to get back to work...I am going CRAZY without my creative outlets....and GREAT news - I picked up my fancy sewing machine from the service shop last week after four months of living without it...I can't wait to get it set back up and sew to my heart's content! We are hoping to be in a new house by the end of February...fingers crossed...

For now, I am going to share what I was working on up until the packing...I completed tons of needlework finishing and custom sewing/quilting before I had to pack up my studio, but just didn't have time to share it. I have photos of many of the pieces, so over the next couple weeks, I'll be sharing those with you! Today, here is a bit of needlework finishing I completed for clients...not my stitching, just my finishing work...designers are listed...

Designer: Little House Needleworks
Potted Poinsettia from The Sampler Tree Ornament Series

Designer: Misty Hill Studio
Blue & Silver Christmas
Twinkle, Glow and Flower

Ornament Backs

Designer: Misty Hill Studio
Blue & Silver Christmas
Snowfall, Silver Bells, Mitten

Ornament Backs

Designer: Blue Ribbon Designs (hey, that's me!)
Countdown to Christmas

Ornament Backs
Prairie Schooler
2003 Schooler Santa (L)
2004 Schooler Santa (R)
Finished to sit on easels.

Backs
This is a touch of what I have been up to the last couple months...more to follow in the next few days!

For now, I am back to boxing up all my charts/patterns - the "warehouse" is last thing I have to finish up (except daily living essentials)...I'm packing them in numerical order and I still have quite a few to put in boxes. Writing this blog post gave me a nice break, but now I have to get back to work...I'll visit with you again soon....