Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Bag Factory

Today, I am waiting for a large order of zippers to arrive, so I can get back to work...I decided it was the perfect time to stop by for a quick visit. My mom started lovingly referring to my sewing room as the "bag factory" and we chuckle about it often...lately, it seems that I am working on project bags almost every single day. It's a fun job because I get to play with an assortment of beautiful fabrics for hours upon hours. The last few days, I have even made time to work on large and small project bags for my Etsy shop...and I have to smile, because they sell out almost as fast as I can list them (as I write this, there are just a handful left)! I'm working on a scheduling plan to make several a day to try and keep it stocked up...we'll see how that goes. Thank you to all my customers and clients for keeping me busy!! I have also found time to get back to listing more of my historic needlework book collection for sale (although I dearly love each and every book, my shelves are overflowing and it is time for others to experience the joy in these very rare finds. I really realized this *needed* to happen with our recent move...you don't even want to know how many boxes of books I had šŸ˜²...if you are looking for rare historic needlework or sampler books, keep an eye on my shop and I will list more as time allows). For now, here are just a few photos of bags that have been shipping out of "the factory" the last couple weeks...


















For project bags that are ready to purchase - visit my Etsy Shop (assorted bags are listed when available): https://www.etsy.com/shop/BlueRibbonDesigns
For custom made project bags - send me an e-mail for details:
designer@blueribbondesigns.com

Well, I hear the mail truck - that should mean my zippers are here...along with a couple custom orders...time for me to get back to the bag factory. I have a goal in mind and then some model stitching this evening...

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

My Apple Valley

It is such a blessing to have my fancy sewing machine up and running again...it has definitely been humming along in my new sewing room! May was a busy month of birthdays and special occasions...and when I know it will be well-received, I like to give handmade gifts. 

I knew I wanted to make my mommy a special little wall hanging quilt for Mother's Day. This is my own take on a pattern/kit called Apple Valley (Tiny Traditions Series #4) by Cozy Quarters - if you like tiny quilts be sure to check out Phyllis's designs...they are wonderful and her kit packaging is FABULOUS! For this design, I changed the shapes of the appliquĆ©s, but used the same layout as her pattern - I used various wool scraps for all the apples, leaves and birds and they were machine appliquĆ©d. Once it was quilted and bound, I made a wood hanger for the back...and off it went to Illinois. I was extremely happy with the results...and I think my mom was too...


Next up, here is another recent quilted creation...
My very dear friend Robin (who just had a birthday) had asked me about fabric amounts and details for a cross stitching class/retreat mat...so of course, I made her a unique one for her special day! Over the last year or so, I have had requests and made custom retreat mats for many needleworkers that like to use them at their place setting for classes, retreats or cross stitch gatherings. These special little quilts are like a large placemat - they measure 16" H x 22" W (which could be adjusted) and can be made in variety of patterns. This particular gifted mat was made with a charm pack from the Blueberry Crumb Cake collection by Blackbird Designs and was backed and bound with coordinates from the same collection. The layout is my own design...




Finally today - here is a birthday gift I made for my BFF Terri in Illinois...a large project bag, small project bag and stitch starter ruler sleeve. The fabric has a bit of a story - I have been searching for a good Noah's Ark fabric for years to make this set (Terri and I actually met when she e-mailed me about creating a Noah's Ark cross stitch design). Every so often, I would search Etsy (and other sources) looking for a Noah's Ark fabric that wasn't too childish or cartoony...and a couple weeks before her birthday I found 1.5 yards of this border print (Country Noah Series by Daisy Kingdom) and I immediately snatched it up. After posting a photo on Instagram, I found out this fabric is vintage...from 1995! It arrived in new, perfect condition and I was thrilled. šŸ˜Š I was able to make her all three pieces and still have a yard or so left in my stash for future use...


There you have it...just a few things I have been working on since our big move...it has been great to be back at my sewing machine.

With my husband out of town all last week, I spent almost all my time in the sewing room and was able to catch up on most orders...so, believe it or not, last night I cut and prepared project bags to create for especially for my Etsy shop...in fact, as soon as I post this, I will be in my nest starting assembly...be sure to check out my Etsy Shop in a day or two if you have been waiting...

Monday, June 3, 2019

My Happy Place

Greetings friends! My apologizes for not visiting much lately...we are yet to have Internet service at our new home (a downfall of new construction), making it more of a challenge to get online for tasks that require more than my iPhone. I'm trying to get on a schedule where I can share more often...and fingers crossed, we will have WiFi by the end of June...

If you follow me on social media, then you know I have TONS of news and lots of finishes to share. First and foremost, I am working on new cross stitch designs...YES, you heard correctly...in fact, I have been model stitching for the last couple months. I have an arsenal of unreleased designs that have been sitting on the back burner for quite some time (years)...and recently, I have had a strong calling to get back to my true passion of needlework design. To be 100% honest, I have been hesitant to share this information, as I wasn't sure how well new designs would be received...and I really don't have a plan yet, as far as printing and selling/distributing, plus the high cost of it all (we all know, it takes money to make money...and that has been the issue the last few years)...but something inside kept telling me to work on all the designs swimming around in my head and somehow, someway, it would all work itself out. So, that is where I am at...designing and model stitching and hoping there will still be some interest in my work when I am ready to release them. I will be sure to keep you updated and share some more peeks, along the way. This image (top right) is a model I just finished stitching and will be titled "My Happy Place" - it is a cheerful signature sampler featuring a bunch of my favorite motifs. I have found since the move, I still feel like "a fish out of water"...but designing and cross stitch can still put me in my "happy place" and that is what this sampler is all about!

I will save my recent quilting, sewing and needlework finishing for a few future posts - I have definitely been BUSY...however, I will share a few photos of the kids (our German Shepherds - Schatzi and Garin) today. I have had a lot of questions on how they are doing since the move....so, here is a brief update. Our backyard fence has been completed and they LOVE their new larger backyard (when it has been dry enough for them to enjoy it!). Garin pretty much ignores the cows, but Schatzi is quite talkative when they visit. They have both adjusted quite well to the new neighborhood!





Speaking of the cows...I love having them as neighbors! I know it is going to be a good day when they come for a visit. My husband laughs, because I have become quite attached to seeing them every few days and miss them when they are not around. Here are a few favorite photos...





Hopefully, I will be back to visit soon - I have taken quite a few photos since we arrived in Kansas. I have a few photos of my new sewing room and some creative storage solutions I came up with out of necessity. I also have a few quilting projects, a ton of project bag photos, and some needlework finishing to share with you...AND I made my first visit to the local quilt shop a few days ago, so I have that to share too! I look forward to chatting with you soon....